Justice Tamara Jago has ruled that the key evidence obtained by Tasmana police for drug trafficking matters was inadmissible therefore crippling the Crown case. Police opened a parcel sent to the address in the north-west city of Devonport containing methylamphetamine after suspicious packages were detected by Australia Post employees.
Tasmania Police were tipped off by Australia Post that there was a suspicious package that they believed was connected to illegal activity. Justice Jago called it a “reckless” breach of the law. Furthermore, Justice Jago went on to say “Even though a suspicion is less than a belief, a reasonable suspicion nevertheless requires some supporting material”.
Justice Jago noted that the police had other options, such as a drug detection dog however opened the package anyway. Subsequently, three further packages which contained methamphetamines were handed over to the police and then returned to Australia Post to be delivered.
Police executed a warrant at the address and charged three persons with trafficking a controlled substance. Justice Jago said “had the disclosures not been made to Tasmania Police by the Australia Post employees, the parcels would never have come into the possession of Tasmania Police and the discovery of methylamphetamine within the parcels would not have eventuated”.
Justice Jago not only criticised Tasmania Police, but also Australia Post employees for breaching laws that were designed to protect rights and privacy of citizens. The Crown case will most likely fail without the evidence from the packages.
Later, Police Minister Felix Ellis made comments that Tasmania Police were reviewing their processes and that “the community expects that Tasmania Police collect evidence in accordance with the rules”.
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