Operation Starck wrap-up – Drug seizures

Northern Territory Police have wrapped up Operation Starck which ran from Saturday 4 April to Friday 29 May 2020 and was initiated to take advantage of travel restrictions arising from COVID-19 to disrupt the importation of illicit substances into remote communities.

The operation was established by Drug and Organised Crime Squad (DOCS) and utilised members of Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk (SAID), Northern Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk (NSAID) and Dog Operations Unit (DOU) in screening freight and passengers being carried on flights from Darwin to remote communities.

The operation made 137 independent seizures totalling:

  • 7.12 kilograms of cannabis
  • 2.6 kilograms of kava
  • 19 litres of alcohol
  • $43,495 cash (single seizure and suspected proceeds of crime).

The seizures resulted in:

  • 47 drug infringement notices issued
  • 1 liquor infringement notice issued
  • 19 notice to appear in court issued
  • 9 matters under further investigation.

The overall street value of cannabis prevented from entering our remote communities, calculated at the current rate per gram in those same communities, is $1,068,000.

Officer in Charge of the Drug and Organised Crime Squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Crispin Gargan said, “The results of this operation are an absolute credit to the dedication and hard work of members over a two-month period.

“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.”

Anyone with information on the importation of illicit substances is urged to contact police on 131 444 or via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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