Daily News Roundup

January 21, 2019

Monday, January 21

Baby formula has fleetingly taken the spotlight off drug smuggling with the charging of five people over a massive scam involving Australian tins of special powdered milk being sold on the black market overseas.

A top level investigation was launched into the baby formula syndicate in February last year after a string of thefts.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers arrested a 31-year-old Carlingford man after he arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from China at about 10:30am on Saturday.

Officers searched the man’s luggage before arresting and charging him with two offences, including recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

He was granted conditional bail at Parramatta Bail Court yesterday and is due to appear in court again on January 30.

NSW Police also searched two homes in Carlingford in August last year and seized 4,000 tins of baby formula, vitamins, manuka honey and more than $250,000 of cash.

A 48-year old woman and a 35-year-old man were arrested in connection with the search.

Police also arrested a 53-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman in the past two months, and charged them with dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty said investigations would continue.

“This has been a meticulous investigation,” he said.

“Police will continue to pursue those who seek to make a quick buck at the disadvantage of others and will always strive to stamp out unscrupulous activity.”

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It’s a debate cat owners around Australia are constantly having. Whether or not to make sure their pets are locked in at night to preserve the native wildlife.

Well, now there is another argument gaining momentum to stop cats stalking and killing birds and the the likes of small lizards as they prowl the dark hours.

They are currently in just as much danger of being eaten…..by snakes.

Snake catchers are being reported as passing on horror stories of pythons killing free-roaming family cats.

In south-east Queensland in the last couple of weeks, reports the ABC, at least two cats have been taken by snakes.

Professional reptile wranglers are imploring all owners to keep their cats indoors, or within the confines of a cat aviary.

Cat containment is encouraged by the RSPCA to not only reduce cats hunting local fauna but also protect them from disease and injury.

Luke Huntley from Snake Catcher Noosa reported on his Facebook page he had been been called out to a family home last week to remove a carpet python that had killed the family cat.

“It was pretty quick, the cat tried to put up a fight but it was wrapped around and died quite quickly and ended up inside the snake,” he said.

Mr Huntley’s shared Facebook page, sparking a heated debate over responsible pet ownership.

“[Growing up] I loved my pet cat, she was amazing, and she was an indoor cat only and I’d hate for something like that to happen to her,” he said.

“The thing is the majority of cats that are injured or killed are the ones that get hit on the road, or get into a cat fight, attacked by a feral cat or they’re just in a yard doing some prowling and get attacked by a dog.

“So it’s just much, much safer for people to have them inside.

“I believe if you love your cat you won’t let that happen. If you don’t love your cat then you will let it out.”

It’s not just for the safety of our furry friends; keeping cats indoors helps protect local native wildlife.

A 2017 study found cats kill more than 1 million birds every day across Australia.

“We have a duty of care to our country and wildlife, people come from all over the world to see Australia, and our wildlife is shown all over the world as so special and precious, and it’s just so vital that we take responsibility for our pets, especially cats, to protect that,” Mr Huntley said.

“It’s not to say cats are vicious killers, they’re not. Their natural instinct is to hunt and prowl, and it’s something they do as a sport. It doesn’t make them evil, it’s just in their nature.

“It’s about being a responsible pet owner to not only protect our wildlife but also to protect your cat from cars, dogs and in this situation, where a snake has got it.”

Last week Stewart Lalor from Brisbane Snake Catchers was called out to a property at Wishart where a large carpet python had consumed one of the family’s two cats in their backyard.

“That’s why we tell people to keep cats inside,” he said.

“Obviously they cause a lot of damage to our wildlife, but if you love your pet you don’t want to lose it.”

Mr Lalor said he gets similar calls a couple of times a year.

“I know a lot of other catchers that are getting a couple every year, so you add them all up and that’s quite a few cats going missing,” he said.

“And those are the ones we know about.”

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Codey Herman, the aspiring rapper charged with murdering Aiia Maasarwe’s after she got off a tram in Melbourne at the weekend was caught because of the sharp eye of a senior constable.

The case could have been solved even quicker with DNA testing.

But a stall in legislation in Victoria, which is behind other states in enacting the law, meant police did not have DNA from Herrmann’s previous arrests.

If they had, officers could have potentially found an immediate match with DNA collected from clothing at the crime scene.

Instead, a local leading senior constable recognised the grey T-shirt and a hat with 1986 on it and remembered Mr Herrmann had been wearing the same items four days earlier when he was stopped.

Mr Herrmann had been on bail for minor offences and police were able to track him down within an hour, charging him with the international student’s alleged rape and murder.

While officers have reportedly praised the quick-thinking action, according to The Age newspaper , Victoria’s outdated laws where police would no longer need court approval to get DNA samples were supposed to go through parliament last year.

Police released these images to try and find the alleged offender.Source:Supplied

An officer recognised the distinctive clothing, leading to the arrest.Source:Supplied

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