White powder on beach suspected of being cocaine worth $3m
TEN kilograms of suspicious white powder washed up on Hinchinbrook Island may be cocaine worth $3 million linked with drug trafficking, police say.
Police were called after 10 1kg packages were found at the high-tide mark on the beach at Ramsay Bay on February 14.
Far North police Detective Acting Inspector Kevin Goan on Thursday said preliminary testing indicated that the white substance was possibly cocaine and that it may be linked with a drug ring.
"With the quantity involved, we would suggest it is linked to a trafficking ring," he said.
"Where that is within Australia is yet to be determined."
The acting inspector said a full forensic analysis on the powder was yet to be completed.
"The concerns that we have currently is that there may be other packages," he said.
"We obviously have concerns about the quality of the product contained within and would suggest it may now be a health risk."
He said that while there were markings on the packages, police investigations have not determined its origin.
"We're an island nation and most of these drugs are manufactured offshore and brought to Australia for consumption in Queensland and elsewhere," he said.
"It's important that we get the message out there that it's 10kg of dangerous drug that hasn't made it to end users.
"What we are pleased with is that 10kg of cocaine, although it's reached our shores, it's not going to be consumed by the end users and, therefore, removing that detriment to the community."
Investigators from the Major and Organised Crime Squad (MOCS) Far Northern and Cairns District are searching the area as part of investigations.
Acting Officer in Charge of MOCS Far Northern Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Graham Camp said anyone who was at sea or on the coastline near these locations and saw anything suspicious in the water or other suspicious activity is urged to contact police.
"It is possible further packages may wash up along the coast due to tidal flows and ocean currents," he said.
"We urge the public to contact police should they find further packages and to not open them as the substance could be hazardous."
Police are working with law enforcement agency partners as part of the investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as White powder on beach suspected of being cocaine worth $3m