Gold Coast raids stop $26m in drugs from hitting streets

POLICE have arrested 'prominent players' in the Surfer Paradise nightclub industry and people associated with four criminal motorcycle gangs.

The arrests followed a series of raids across the Gold Coast as part of Operation Kilo Fraction, one of the largest operations seen in the city.

The raids came after more than 18 months of investigation and were carried out on Surfers Paradise nightclubs on Friday night.

Dozens of police also raided on residential properties on Friday night and Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Police have arrested 152 offenders on in excess of 400 charges.

Police charged 17 of these offenders have been charged with trafficking in dangerous drugs after seizing a large quantity of cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy) methylamphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine and steroids with a street value exceeding $26 million.

They also seized or restrained Australian currency, premises and vehicles to a value in excess of $6 million.

Further, with assistance from the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission and the Australian Crime Commission, police are restraining assets estimated to be valued at approximately $5 million.

Some offenders have been arrested interstate and will be subject of extradition hearings in the near future to have them returned to Queensland.

Police will allege that 37 of the persons charged are 'participants' in the Bandidos, Finks, Mongols, Rebels, Highway 61 and Lone Wolves.

Two people have been charged under the VLAD legislation with one alleged to be an office bearer.

Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson said this is the most significant operational closure conducted by officers of the Gold Coast CIB.

"I congratulate the core group of detectives from the Gold Coast and partner agencies who have driven this covert investigation over the last 19 months," he said.

"In addition to seeking substantial prison terms, this investigation will hit these criminal syndicates where it hurts them most.

"Police have seized large amounts of cash and will be restraining numerous high value residential properties and vehicles, which we will allege have been obtained from the proceeds of their criminal activities."

Taskforce Maxima Commander Detective Supt Michael Niland said this is a major win for the community.
"Eighteen offenders have been charged with drug trafficking - with many being participants, members or ex-members of Rebels and Bandidos criminal motorcycle gangs - and their wealth seized," he said.

"They have been exposed for what they are - criminal gangs.

"These coordinated team efforts of both QPS and federal agencies will continue to disrupt and destroy these criminal gangs."