Gold Coast couple’s alleged family drug empire exposed in court

SECRETS of a mum and dad team who allegedly built up a multimillion-dollar cannabis trafficking syndicate involving buried backyard plantations have been laid out in fresh court documents.

The Bulletin reports, Police affidavits filed in the Southport Magistrates Court allege how Ben Andrew Hannan, 35, and wife Sarah Hannan, 27, roped in brother Scott Hannan to create a calculated and well-oiled drug production and trafficking organisation in the Gold Coast’s most secluded suburb in just four years.

Hannan and his wife, then Sarah McCarlie Muir, met in the Gold Coast’s once-thriving marine production industry but after mass redundancies in the mid-2000s they allegedly turned their focus to building a family and a drug empire.


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By 2014 they owned a waterfront Helensvale mansion, four other properties, had deposited $1 million cash into various trust funds over two years and had a combined taxable income of $544,000, despite Sarah being on maternity leave and Ben claiming to be a self-employed boat builder.

Police investigations showed that from 2009 the couple bought up secluded rural properties at Willow Vale, west of Pimpama, acquired shipping containers, sank them into the backyard and covered them with concrete slab sheds.

It is alleged that within a short time the containers were converted into highly sophisticated underground hydroponic bunkers that could produce 10-15kg of cannabis every fortnight over a four-year period.

Police monitored the transformation of the Willowvale properties at 148 Fairview Drive and 151 Hotham Creek Rd via aerial photographs.

In March this year officers raided both properties and found 89 plants worth $454,000 in the Hotham Creek bunkers and 30 plants worth $150,000 in the Fairview bunkers.

Original article written by Leah Fineran, To read it in full, head to the Gold Coast Bulletin website.