10 May 2023

Seized sly grog was worth $30,000: police

| Matt Nicholls
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A MASSIVE booze haul with a street value of $30,000 has been stopped from entering Aurukun after police worked with locals to make an arrest last week.

Senior Sergeant Amit Singh, the officer in charge at Aurukun, said the bust was made possible due to tip-offs from community members.

A 26-year-old Aurukun man was charged with a number of offences on Wednesday night after police used a tyre deflation device on the Aurukun Access Road to stop his Toyota Prado.

“The grog was coming in from Cairns and we got some information from the community,” Senior Sergeant Singh said.

“There was an attempt of a routine intercept at Coen but the driver evaded police.

“They didn’t pursue and instead informed us … we had tactical patrols on the Aurukun Access Road that night.”

At around 10pm, officers saw the vehicle approaching Aurukun and activated their lights and sirens to intercept.

The driver allegedly sped away and police used the tyre deflation device to stop him.

Senior Sergeant Singh said it would be alleged that after a search of the vehicle, officers located a large quantity of alcohol.

The driver was transported to the Aurukun watchhouse and interviewed before being subsequently charged.

He was charged with evading police, attempting to take liquor into a restricted area, seatbelt offences and unlawful assembly.

The 26-year-old is scheduled to appear at the Aurukun Magistrates Court on April 20.

Senior Sergeant Singh said it was a great result for Aurukun.

“This is probably a record haul for Aurukun police and the biggest one in my time,” he said.

“The community keeps on telling us they don’t want sly grog and their help led to this seizure.

“The police can only ever be as strong as the community and in this case, we received a great amount of help.”

In total, 30 bottles of rum were confiscated, along with 29 casks of wine, two cartons of beer and some assorted spirits.

“You can be paying up to $500 or $700 for a bottle of rum in Aurukun and we’ve estimated the street value to be around $30,000,” Senior Sergeant Singh told Cape York Weekly.

“It’s a major haul and that means we’ve kept $30,000 in the community to be spent on things like food for the kids.”

Since taking on the role as officer in charge in April last year, Senior Sergeant Singh said he was trying to build stronger partnerships between the police and the community.

“It’s a great place to work and it can be really rewarding,” he said.

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