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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Multi-million dollar drug bust in Queensland

QUEENSLAND Police have seized approximately $13 million of drugs and charged over 442 people on 981 offences across Queensland during Operation Vitreus week of action on drugs.

Operation Vitreus is a national multi-jurisdiction co-ordinated operation, under the Serious Organised Crime Consultative Committee, focused on disrupting and dismantling dangerous drug activity.

The Week of Action ran from September 11-15 and aimed to disrupt organised crime groups and those engaged in the production, supply, and trafficking of illicit drugs in co-ordinated proactive enforcement.

Queensland Police Service executed 94 search warrants across the state, resulting in the seizure of 1.2 kilograms of Methylamphetamine, 2320 cannabis plants, 11.5 kilograms of cannabis, 700 grams of MDMA, 6 grams of heroin, 77 grams of cocaine and $134,380 in cash.

State Drug Squad Detective Inspector Bradley Phelps said this is a significant quantity of dangerous drugs now off the streets of Queensland.

“These criminal syndicate producing drugs make money off the vulnerable to benefit themselves and fund serious and violent crimes that risk the safety of innocent members of the public,” Detective Inspector Phelps said.

“Organised crime is insidious and knows no borders, while this action has cost alleged offenders $13 million, police will not stop there.

“Members of the public are our eyes and ears, and we appeal to anyone who has any information which could assist investigations, no matter how small, to come forward.”

As part of the operation, detectives executed a search warrant at a rural property at Gunalda, north of Gympie.

Officers located six greenhouses each 80 metres in length and 10 metres wide, containing 2284 cannabis plants and more than 6.9kg of dried cannabis.

Further sophisticated hydroponic equipment and drug utensils were also located with the total value of the drugs and items seized estimated to be $11.5 million.

No persons were on the property at the time of the search warrant and investigations remain ongoing.

Meanwhile, Operation Detect located a variety of drugs allegedly attempted to have been delivered via the postal system.

Police have released images of some of the 27 packages seized from postal facilities in Cairns and Townsville, containing a variety of dangerous drugs including methamphetamine, MDMA, GHB, cannabis, cocaine, prescription drugs and steroids. Investigations into the origin of these packages remain ongoing.

On 12 September, detectives from the Far Northern Major and Organised Crime Squad executed a search warrant at a Mooroobool apartment in Cairns.

It will be alleged approximately 350 grams of methamphetamine was located, and a 27-year-old local man was charged with possessing dangerous drugs (schedule 1 drug quantity exceeding schedule 4) and two counts of possessing dangerous drugs (cannabis and prescription medication).

He is expected to appear before Cairns Magistrates Court on September 28.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Leichhardt Lions clinch final for second year in a row and Locals support Cairns comedy.

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