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WA police seize cannabis at hard border with SA with no end in sight to COVID-19 travel restrictions


WA Police at the Eucla border checkpoint seized a quantity of cannabis in packages.(ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas)

A 33-year-old from Denmark in Western Australia has been remanded in custody after facing court for trying to smuggle cannabis across the South Australian border.

Key points:

  • WA Police seized more than 500 grams of cannabis in separate packages at the Eucla border checkpoint on Tuesday

  • Thomas Callaghan faced court on Wednesday on five charges, the most serious being possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply

  • He has been remanded in custody and will face court again next week

Police manning WA's hard border with SA seized a quantity of cannabis in "a number of cryovac packages" at the Eucla border checkpoint on Tuesday.

They allege when Thomas Callaghan was stopped and his vehicle searched they found the packages containing more than 500 grams of cannabis inside his car.

Mr Callaghan has not entered a plea and has been remanded in custody after facing court on Wednesday on five charges, the most serious being possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply.

He is due to reappear in the Kalgoorlie Magistrate's Court on September 10.

Hard border to remain

The Eucla seizure comes after a 28-year-old woman was jailed last month for sneaking past the checkpoint while hiding in a car being transported on the back of a truck.

Police have maintained road blocks at the Eucla quarantine checkpoint since March when new travel restrictions came into effect, with officers being rotated out on a weekly basis.

Experts had hoped one of the positives from the travel restrictions would be disruptions to the distribution of illegal drugs.

Premier Mark McGowan, who flew to Eucla in July to thank officers for their hard work, has refused to set the date to reopen the border, despite pressure from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Last month, a 34-year-old truck driver from South Australia was hit with a $1,000 fine for failing to wear a mask — part of a new code of practice for interstate freight operators entering WA.

Police say the truck driver was seen entering a store in the Goldfields town of Norseman after undergoing a COVID-19 test.

He was not wearing a mask, as per the current requirements.

Since August 13, truck drivers entering WA have been required to show evidence of a negative test result within the past five days, or take a test within 48 hours of entering the state. Originally published here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-04/wa-police-seize-cannabis-at-hard-border-with-sa/12630180

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