Saturday, December 13, 2014

Alarm over stolen poppies

Media Release

Theft of thebaine poppies

A number of thebaine poppies have been stolen from a poppy farm near New Norfolk in the state's south. The theft, which occurred between December 2 and December 10, is being investigated by detectives from the Drug Squad with the support of the Poppy Advisory and Control Board and field officers.

Detective Acting Inspector Craig Joel said: "A significant amount of the state’s poppies are high in thebaine but low in other opiates. Thebaine is a toxic substance and the death of a young man earlier this year at Oatlands and another in 2012 at Lewisham show how tragic the consequences can be if poppies are misused.

“Trespassing on poppy fields and the possession of poppies and poppy products is illegal with substantial penalties for offenders. There is no difference in appearance between thebaine and morphine poppies, and while the theft of poppies from poppy farms is traditionally sporadic, there is still a need to raise awareness of misusing the poppies.”

Anyone who might have information about the theft, or who is offered poppies or poppy products, is asked to contact Tasmania Police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

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