Police launch investigation into illegal tobacco plantation near Goulburn

An investigation is underway following the seizure of more than 97 tonnes of tobacco in the state’s south west.

Earlier this month, police received information that a large illegal tobacco crop was being maintained on a rural property in Bevendale, about 80km north west of Goulburn.

Investigators from The Hume Police District and the Rural Crime Prevention Team attended the property about 8.30am yesterday (Thursday 7 May 2020), and found 8.6 acres worth of tobacco growing on the property.

A search warrant was executed, with police seizing a number of items for forensic examination.

Arrangements have since been made to destroy the crop, estimated to be around 97 tonnes.

The Hume Police District Acting Crime Manager, Detective Acting Inspector Keith Price said police will continue to investigate illegal tobacco plantations throughout the region.

“Although tobacco may not be an illicit substance, the unpaid excise on this particular crop is estimated to be around $16 million dollars,” Det A/Insp Price said.

“I would like to thank those members of the community who came forward and provided us with valuable information.

“As this investigation continues, we are appealing for anyone else in the community with information to come forward.”

The estimated street value of the product is approximately $4.9 million.

Police are working alongside investigators from the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Border Force-led Illicit Tobacco Taskforce.

As inquiries continue, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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