Million dollar illegal tobacco operation uncovered

Police have seized almost one tonne of tobacco after a raid at a rural property in Peats Ridge.

In March, detectives attached to Brisbane Water Police District received information about an illegal tobacco crop.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives and investigators from the Australian Taxation Office executed a search warrant at the property on Monday, April 13.

Investigators located and seized a total of 970kg of tobacco product, as well as a 13-acre tobacco crop.

Investigators also spoke with 10 people – five men and five women.

A crime scene was established and held by police overnight, with further analysis completed the following day.

All seized tobacco has since been destroyed by the ATO.

The estimated value of all tobacco seized and destroyed was is in excess of $3M.

Investigations are continuing, with Brisbane Water detectives working alongside the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Border Force through the ABF-led Illicit Tobacco Taskforce (ITTF).

It has been illegal to grow tobacco in Australia for more than a decade.

If convicted, the possession of tobacco over 500kgs carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.


Press release, Apr 25

NSW Police Media