Police seize more than $1m worth of cannabis in operation
NT Police seized more than $1 million worth of cannabis, among other substances and cash, in a major operation to stop illicit materials being imported to remote communities.
Operation Starck, held from April 4 to May 29, was begun to take advantage of travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The operation made 137 independent seizures totalling in 7.12kg of cannabis, 2.6kg of kava, 19L of alcohol, and in a single job $43,495 cash.
These resulted in 47 drug infringement notices issued, one liquor fine, 19 notices to appear in court and nine matters under further investigation.
The overall street value of the cannabis, calculated at the current rate per gram in those same communities, is $1,068,000.
Operation Stark was established by the Drug and Organised Crime Squad (DOCS) and used members of Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk, Northern Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk and Dog Operations Unit in screening freight and passengers being carried on flights from Darwin to remote communities.
DOCS officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Crispin Gargan said the operation saved many lives in remote communities.
"The results of this operation are an absolute credit to the dedication and hard work of members over a two-month period," he said.
"That we have prevented exponents of organised crime taking advantage of vulnerable people in remote communities, ensuring the preservation of health and finances in remote Top End communities through the COVID response at such a scale is deeply satisfying."
Originally published as Police seize more than $1 mil worth of cannabis in operation