Se­cu­rity check at Tassie ports

Cus­toms and cops tar­get cargo ships

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

THE Aus­tralian Border Force has de­scended on North-West Tas­ma­nia’s two ma­jor ports in a crack­down aimed at pin­point­ing any weak links in the sup­ply chain which could be ex­ploited by or­gan­ised crime.

ABF per­son­nel, Tas­ma­nia Po­lice and snif­fer dogs ar­rived en masse at the port of Burnie on Tues­day and boarded one of the Toll ships which runs reg­u­larly be­tween Burnie and Mel­bourne.

Yes­ter­day morning, it was Devon­port’s turn, with at­ten­tion fo­cus­ing on the SeaRoad ter­mi­nal which also op­er­ates freight ships be­tween Tas­ma­nia and Victoria.

ABF said the move was part of a two-day oper­a­tion in the northern Tas­ma­nia ports to “test the in­tegrity of the sup­ply chain, and specif­i­cally the move­ment of goods that are sub­ject to cus­toms con­trol (un­der­bond cargo)”.

“With ad­di­tional sup­port from the ABF’s De­tec­tor Dog Unit and the Tas­ma­nia Po­lice Dog Unit, the oper­a­tion tar­geted a num­ber of ves­sels that sail from Mel­bourne to Burnie and Devon­port car­ry­ing a mix of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional un­der­bond cargo.

“As well as con­duct­ing checks on the ves­sels’ cargo, crew and pas­sen­gers, the oper­a­tion also fo­cused on water­front per­son­nel, trans­port providers and cargo depot staff who in­ter­act with cargo mov­ing un­der Cus­toms con­trol.

“The ABF is com­mit­ted to work­ing with in­dus­try to en­sure the high­est lev­els of com­pli­ance are main­tained within the sup­ply chain, and our of­fi­cers are com­mit­ted to iden­ti­fy­ing any vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties likely to be ex­ploited by or­gan­ised crime groups.”

ABF Victoria/Tas­ma­nia Re­gional Com­man­der Craig Palmer said the force played a crit­i­cal role in pro­tect­ing the in­tegrity of the sea cargo sup­ply chain — and was ac­tively tar­get­ing crim­i­nal­ity in the water­front en­vi­ron­ment.

“The ABF op­er­ates in re­gional and re­mote ar­eas across Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing re­gional ports of Devon­port and Burnie, and we are ded­i­cated to main­tain­ing the in­tegrity of our bor­ders,” he said.

“The ABF’s Border Watch pro­gram also plays an im­por­tant role in un­cov­er­ing il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity at the border, and the ABF en­cour­ages any in­di­vid­ual or group that iden­ti­fies sus­pi­cious border ac­tiv­ity to re­port it to Border Watch.

“Informatio­n can be re­ported anony­mously.”

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