A tradesman has been charged with stealing a large quantity of drugs from Maroochydore police station.
Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said 2,000 ecstasy tablets as well as a small quantity of cocaine and amphetamines were stolen from the exhibit room at Maroochydore Police station on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Comm Stewart said the drugs had been stored at the station since they were seized in November 2006.
He said they were accounted for in a routine audit in February but were discovered missing in September when an officer was transferring property records to a new computer system, called QPrime.
"A full audit of the property room was put in place and about 10 days ago it was confirmed the drugs were actually physically missing," Comm Stewart told reporters in Brisbane.
He said an investigation was immediately launched involving local detectives and officers from the State Crime and Ethical Standards Command.
He said the Crime and Misconduct Commission had been advised of the investigation today.
A 36-year-old man from Eumundi will appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on October 22 on 10 charges including drug theft.
Comm Stewart said a 36-year-old woman had also been charged in relation to the theft.
"The allegation in this particular matter is the male person was a contractor who had come to the police station to undertake work," he said.
Comm Stewart admitted the tradesman was given unsupervised access to the exhibit room which contained substantial amounts of drugs.
"He had access to the room to complete his work," he said.
Comm Stewart said most of the stolen drugs were still missing.
"A small amount of drugs were recovered last night but certainly nowhere near what was taken," he said.
He admitted the drugs could have been missing for months.
"Our investigation will indicate at this stage that it was a number of months between when the drugs were taken from our facility and when they were discovered to be missing," he said.
It is not the first time Maroochydore Police Station has made headlines with security problems.
In 2002 more than $100,000, seized during a drug raid, vanished from the station's safe.
The disappearance prompted then police minister Tony McGrady to call for a review of procedures and for large sums of money to be deposited in banks rather than held in police stations.
"Our procedures and our auditing regime will be closely looked at as a result of this matter," Comm Stewart said.
Comm Stewart said at this stage no police officer had been disciplined over the incident.
A spokeswoman for the Crime and Misconduct Commission said it would wait for a report from the State Crime and Ethical Standards Commands before taken further action.
October 18, 2008 - 2:58PM
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