Feds raid Hervey Bay marina boat

MORE than 50 law-enforcement officers swarmed over the Urangan Boat Harbour on Thursday morning, in a shock drug raid.

As rain and strong winds swept across the harbour, officers from the Queensland Police Service, Australian Customs, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission, and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority raced from boat to boat, searching for drugs.

The Operation Juliet Osprey taskforce centred on Hervey Bay, although the operation stretched from Tin Can Bay all the way up to Bundaberg and also involved officers from the Sunshine Coast tactical crime squad.

As witnesses looked on, customs sniffer dogs prowled the docks and officers escorted plastic bags allegedly ladened with cannabis and drug paraphernalia for tests.

Acting Superintendent for the Maryborough Police District Daryl Powell said the operation also included sending police boats out into open waters “potentially as far as 200 nautical miles”.

He said the raid was based on intelligence that was “gathered over some period of time”.

“We’ve been aware of that (drug activity in the marina) for a while,” Supt Powell said.

“You’d have to be blind to think otherwise.

“There is drug use in fishing vessels and that information has been received by all of the partners in the operation.”

A local boating enthusiast, who did not wish to be identified, said he witnessed the start of the raid.

He said at least 12 police and customs vehicles drove out on to the rock wall of the marina, with even more continuing to arrive throughout the morning.

“It looked like they were searching every boat in the marina,” the witness said yesterday.

A list of all alleged offences discovered in the operation is expected to be released tomorrow.

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