Cross-border crime network busted in raids

Police have seized millions of dollars worth of illicit drugs and dismantled a clandestine drug lab in a major multi-agency covert operation targeting organised crime in NSW and Queensland.

Operation Viking, launched 12 days ago, led to police confiscating $4.5 million in drugs – including cocaine, methylamphetamine and cannabis – $150,000 in cash, seven firearms, luxury cars and jewellery.

The operation, which concluded on Friday, dismantled a clandestine drug lab and discovered significant amounts of chemicals used to manufacture drugs.


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NSW Police launched Operation Viking to target organised crime networks operating across the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast Border towns.

The Australian Federal Police played a key role due to its ability to gather intelligence across state lines, AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale said.

“Our message to organised crime is simple. We will not stop in our mission to outsmart you and protect the Australian community,” she said.

NSW acting assistant commissioner Jason Weinstein said the two-week covert operation was aimed at better understanding organised crime in the border town area.

“We know criminal organisations were establishing themselves across the north coast because of its lucrative drug market and a perceived idea the area is relatively free of scrutiny from law enforcement,” he said.

“I’m confident that following these two weeks that perception has changed. As we continue to work closely through joint operations to prevent, disrupt and respond to organised crime.”

Among the operations, police said a crime scene was declared after they visited a home at Ewingsdale to a serve a 44-year-old man with a Firearm Prohibition Notice, and later seized luxury watches, $10,000 in cash and electronic devices from the man’s home.

Another 53-year-old Tweed Heads man was charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime and drug offences after police allegedly discovered cannabis, 130 grams of white powder believed to be cocaine and $18,000 in cash at his property.

He was granted conditional bail and will appear in Tweed Heads Local Court next month.

A 27-year-old was also charged with firearm offences after police allegedly discovered a loaded rifle at his Tweed Heads home on Tuesday, and will appear in Tweed Heads Local Court in September.

© AAP 2022