AUTHORITIES have cracked a bikie-linked network being used to distribute drugs along Australia’s east coast.
The Gold Coast-based network, linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs, was being used to ship drugs as far north as Cairns and as far south as Melbourne, Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) says.
CMC officers, with the help of Queensland Police, have conducted a series of raids on properties in Cairns and on the Gold Coast. Five people have been arrested on 19 drug-related charges, including trafficking and supply of dangerous drugs, the CMC said today. The raids were the final phase of an extensive covert investigation codenamed Operation Warrior, which was a joint operation between the CMC and police in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
The operation began in 2009 to investigate organised criminal activity, specifically the production, supply and distribution of illicit drugs along the nation’s east coast. The CMC’s Director of Crime Operations, Detective Acting Chief Superintendent Ian Parsons, said that over the past year Operation Warrior had involved a large number of other raids, drug and cash seizures and arrests.
“Just last month the joint task force executed search warrants on twenty properties in Cairns, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne,” he said. “More than $650,000 in cash was seized, as well as large amounts of cannabis, precursor chemicals for the production of GHB (fantasy) and hydroponics equipment.”
He said a total of 71 arrests had now been made on 283 serious drug-related charges, including 24 people for drug trafficking. “Investigators located approximately 2.5kg of methylamphetamine, 91kg of cannabis, 2.2kg of MDMA (ecstasy), 1.3 litres of GHB, steroids and cocaine, with a total estimated street value of about $2.5 million. “A drug production laboratory and two hydroponics cannabis ‘grow houses’ were also located during the investigation.”
He said property worth $7 million had also been seized under proceeds of crime legislation, including real estate, vehicles, a boat and $1.2 million in cash.