IFS Charges Laid

Joint Inland Fisheries, Parks & Police, Raids on properties in the North West result in charges being laid
by Sarah Graham
Inland Fisheries, firearms and drug offences were detected during a series of raids on several North West properties last week in a joint operation involving Inland Fisheries, Tasmania Police, and Parks and Wildlife officers.
Joint Inland Fisheries, Parks & Police, Raids on properties in the North West result in charges being laid.

Senior IFS Inspector, Stephen Hepworth, weighing an illegal whitebait haul back in the lab

Officers from the Inland Fisheries Service, Tasmania Police and the Parks and Wildlife Service conducted searches of ten properties in the Circular Head area and at Zeehan. The raids uncovered approximately 100 kg of illegally caught whitebait, an unregistered semi-automatic rifle with a quantity of ammunition, illicit drugs and related material, and offences dealing with freshwater crayfish.  Eight Inland Fisheries and two Police search warrants were executed by 3 Inland Fisheries Officers, four Police Officers and a Parks Regional Compliance Officer.

According to Stephen Hepworth, IFS Manager Compliance and Operations, the joint operation was the result of intelligence lead enforcement between the Inland Fisheries Service, Tasmania Police Marine Division, Smithton Police, and the Parks and Wildlife Service.

“This level of cooperation between the various agencies has resulted in 13 people,  many of them of mutual interest to the enforcement agencies involved, facing potential charges or cautions under a variety of legislation, including several drug related matters”, Mr Hepworth said.

“One 56 year old Marrawah male is facing multiple charges, alleging the unlawful take and possession of 62 kilograms of whitebait, while another male will be charged with unlawful possession of more than 20 kilograms”, he said.

Under Inland Fisheries legislation, special penalties of $130 per kilogram of illegal whitebait apply, on top of any fine that may be imposed by the Courts. Repeat offenders may also be given a prison term.

Meanwhile, a Redpa man is facing charges under the Firearms Act relating to the unlawful possession of an unregistered semi-automatic rifle and more than 100 rounds of ammunition, and alleged unsafe storage of a firearm.

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