Operation North Veering commenced in 2015 after a local property owner made a complaint to police. File Picture: Evan Morgan
Operation North Veering commenced in 2015 after a local property owner made a complaint to police. File Picture: Evan Morgan

Long, complex investigation leads to cattle duffing arrests

POLICE have charged two men over the alleged theft of 800 head of cattle from a property in northwest Queensland - one a local property owner.

Investigators from State Crime Command's Major and Organised Crime Squad Rural (Cloncurry) have charged two men after a protracted investigation into the stealing of 800 head of cattle from a property north of Richmond in northwest Queensland.

Operation North Veering commenced in 2015 after a local property owner made a complaint to police. It was alleged the stock were removed over a period of time between 2014 and 2015.

Richmond in the northwest of the state.
Richmond in the northwest of the state.


MOCS Rural Northern Co-ordinator Detective Senior Sergeant Jim Lacey said, like many operations of this nature, North Veering was a complex investigation.

"Often the remoteness of the crime location can add an extra layer of complexity to our investigation, however through sheer diligence of the officers involved, we were able to obtain the information and evidence we needed to make the arrests and bring this investigation to a close."

Detectives from MOCS Rural Cloncurry today charged a 56-year-old man, a property owner from an area north of Richmond, with three charges of stock stealing and receiving tainted property. He was bailed to appear in the Richmond Magistrates Court on May 22.

This follows the arrest of a 34-year-old man from Atherton in January 2019. The man was charged with eleven counts of stock stealing and bailed to appear in the Mareeba Magistrates Court on April 8.

Recent images of dead and dying cattle between Richmond and Julia Creek, west of the property in question. Picture: John Andersen
Recent images of dead and dying cattle between Richmond and Julia Creek, west of the property in question. Picture: John Andersen


"These arrests are significant for the livestock industry and stock owners who have been at the mercy of those who seek to prey on our primary producers.

"There are many people within our community that are not aware that stock theft still occurs. "We take this as an opportunity to encourage all property owners to stay vigilant and keep an eye on their cattle numbers.

"If you notice anything suspicious around your property or wish to report these matters, we ask that you contact us as soon as you can. This can assist us greatly in these type of investigations," Detective Senior Sergeant Lacey said.