Security check at Tassie ports
Customs and cops target cargo ships
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.”