The Australian Border Force (ABF) has carried out a high visibility operation at Port Kembla to detect and disrupt organised criminal activity in the area.
25 ABF officers from NSW Maritime Operations, Regional Investigations, the Dog Detector Unit, along with officers from Aviation and Maritime Security conducted a crew and ship search on a vessel docked at the port and associated landside inspections.
Operation Wallstone involved ABF officers boarding and searching a vessel and ensuring crew on board met customs and immigration requirements. An ABF Island Class vessel was also deployed within the Port Kembla Maritime Zone to conduct searches and compliance checks on small craft and tug boats.
Officers stationed at the port carried out Maritime Security Identification Card checks on drivers entering and leaving the wharf and ensured they were all complying with relevant Commonwealth legislation.
The purpose of the activity was to identify suspected illegal activity in relation to customs, Immigration and maritime security laws and regulations and to deter any future illegal activity.
ABF Maritime and Detained Goods Superintendent Graeme Campbell said ensuring Australia’s ports are secure is a priority.
“The ABF has a strong presence at Australia’s busy seaports. With essential goods arriving at ports daily, officers are committed to keeping the economy moving, while also ensuring our borders remain strong,” Superintendent Campbell said.
“This operation highlights the ABF’s dedication to tackle illegal activity and criminal infiltration at the nation’s ports. The ABF is also committed to making sure arriving vessels and their crew adhere to federal legislation, which is essential during a pandemic.”