Ongoing investigation busts illicit tobacco operation

A joint operation between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Border Force and New South Wales Police uncovered $11.9 million worth of illicit tobacco on a property in Binnaway, New South Wales.

Amongst the 9.3 acres of illicit tobacco, officers found 3 kilns, a tractor and other farming equipment on site. Firearms and ammunition, including unlicensed high-powered rifles and pistols, were also seized by police.

Assistant Commissioner Jade Hawkins, Criminal Law Program, said “This is another great result for the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce.

“These operations would not be possible without our officers who work tirelessly and diligently to detect, disrupt and dismantle organised crime syndicates who use profits from illicit tobacco to fund other more serious crimes.

“We are effectively dealing with domestically grown and manufactured illicit tobacco. Not only are our officers out in the field undertaking warrant activity, but we are also undertaking compliance action on those suspected of being engaged in the growth, manufacture, distribution and sale of illicit tobacco.” Since 1 July 2022, the ATO has raised approximately $26 million in liabilities and completed more than 35 audits and reviews on illicit tobacco cases.”

If you suspect illicit tobacco is being grown in your community, you can report the task force agencies by completing the tip-off form,, or phoning 1800 060 062.