Bookaar music festival targeted in police Operation Huffnpuff

TWO police drug dogs have assisted police busting 20 people with illicit substances at Bookaar's Inner Varnika music/dance festival.

Detective Sergeant Cameron Ross, of the Warrnambool police divisional response unit, said Operation Huffnpuff targeted drugs at the Darcy Lane festival between noon and 4pm on Friday.

He said the three-day ticketed event had run for a number of years, was restricted to 1700 people and highlighted alternative/underground music. 

About a dozen police were involved in the operation, from the Warrnambool DRU, Corangamite-based uniform officers, the Warrnambool highway patrol unit and two drug squad dogs.

"We ran the operation between noon and 4pm and probably only checked one in every five cars so we only really scratched the surface," Detective Sergeant Ross said.

"Twenty people were caught with drugs. Of those, 18 were issued with drug diversions. A man in his 20s was also found with between 20 and 30 ecstasy tablets and another 20-year-old from the ACT was arrested and remanded in custody," he said.

"He was found with one ounce of MDMA split into 50 deal bags. He will appear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a bail/remand hearing on Tuesday."

Detective Sergeant Ross said siezed drugs included about 100g of cannabis, 100 ecstasy tablets, about 10 grams of speed as well as magic mushrooms and LSD.

"The drug dogs were worth their weight in gold," he said.

"It's the first time we've run the operation so we didn't know what to expect. It was very disappointing to have located so much in the way of illicit drugs. 

"Especially when there has been so much trouble concerning drugs at music festivals in the past 12 months and it is well known police are targeting these events."

Detctive Sergeant Ross said the success of the operation and the known link between music festivals and drugs would lead to similar events being targeted.

"We want everybody to enjoy these events in a safe way. The message has to get through that you can have a good time without taking drugs and putting your life at risk," he said.


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