Operation Victor Diabelli at Karumba

Cairns detectives have charged a 47-year-old Karumba man with 46 offences after an extensive investigation in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Operation Victor Diabelli was launched in 2023 following reports a man allegedly threatened numerous deckhands on board his fishing vessels.

It will be alleged the man assaulted, threatened, and withheld food and water from crew members.

On January 9, 2024, detectives from Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch executed search warrants on a Karumba address and four fishing vessels.

Police will allege several items including an illegal firearm were located on board.

On January 17, the 47-year-old Karumba man was charged with eighteen counts of common assault, ten counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed, five counts each of torture and slavery and one count of stealing.

He was remanded in custody and is due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on February 9.

Police are appealing for further witnesses and victims to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Bradley McLeish said the community can be assured all complaints will be fully investigated.

“If you have information that could assist this investigation, we want to hear from you,” Detective Sergeant McLeish said.

“Victims who may be subject to harassment or intimidation in relation to speaking to police are assured that all offenders will be held accountable for their actions.

“Anyone making threats to potential witnesses or victims can expect a visit from detectives very soon.”

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.

Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au.

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