NT Police are compelled to destroy their huge hauls of alcohol.
Police regularly seize large amounts of alcohol as attempts are made to smuggle them into dry communities.
There has been a focus by police to not only stop drugs being smuggled around the state, but alcohol which is the cause of much grief in the NT.
There are big profits made by criminals who buy large amounts of alcohol, apparently legally, and then try and sell it in remote communities for exorbitant prices.
“We know that if we target the supply of alcohol we can have an impact on alcohol related harm,” police have said.
Police conduct combined operations to target grog smugglers and have had great success at it.
In Katherine during August a combined effort by police from Central Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk, Central Traffic Operations and Dog Operations Unit resulted in the seizure of almost 500 litres of alcohol believed to be destined for dry communities.
“Katherine Police are committed to reducing antisocial behaviour in the town and surrounding Indigenous communities by preventing the secondary supply of alcohol,” Acting Superintendent of the Katherine Division Mark Malogorski said at the time.
Police seized another haul of grog at Mataranka late last week, 82 litres of alcohol.
In June, a police blitz at Adelaide River resulted in the seizure of 289 litres of alcohol believed to be destined for dry communities.
In September, a 50-year-old male and a 39-year-old female were charged after Daly River police found 62 litres of alcohol and a quantity of cannabis in the vehicle they were travelling in.
Readers of the Katherine Times this week questioned what police do with these large hauls of alcohol – they are all destroyed.
The NT Liquor Act grants police powers to seize and empty out opened containers if they believe an offence is being committed.
Unopened containers, like most of these large hauls, are returned to police stations where they have a method of destroying it.
“The officer must ensure that any containers covered by subsection (3)(a) that are not emptied, and any containers covered by subsection (3)(b) that are not destroyed, are taken to a police station, where they must be destroyed,” the laws state.
People detected attempting to smuggle alcohol face numerous charges, and possibly jail, from courts.
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