GOLD Coast police have commenced the closure of a twelve month investigation targeting an organised criminal syndicate which allegedly imported 1.5 tonnes of cannabis into Queensland from Victoria – the majority trafficked through Brisbane Domestic Airport.
Officers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as officers from the Crime and Misconduct Commission, formed Operation Kilo Zurich which has resulted in the seizure of more than $1 million worth of cannabis and amphetamines, along with $222,500 in cash.
Early morning raids were conducted on several Gold Coast properties on Tuesday, including Maudsland where police seized a Queenslander home which was allegedly transported onto a vacant block of land within the last week.
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Eight brand new buses which were allegedly imported from China were also located on the property and seized.
Other search warrants were executed in Southport, Arundel, Coomera and Nerang.
Police say they have intercepted a total of four shipments into Queensland from this particular syndicate, one which came by road and the remainder through domestic airports.
It will be alleged Queensland Government employees assisted in facilitating the criminal offences.
To date, the investigation has resulted in the arrest of 21 people on 42 charges across Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales, with Queensland police set to seek the extradition of offenders from these jurisdictions.
Further arrests and charges are expected from today’s raids as the operation closure continues and investigations are finalised.
Offences include trafficking dangerous drugs, supply of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs and drug utensils.
Police say syndicate members operated as participants of a criminal association as defined in the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment legislation and have been charged accordingly.
The operation also resulted in police executing a search warrant at a Guanaba address in March where police will allege they recovered more than $6 million in stolen property including heavy machinery, boats, caravans and a gemstone collection.
It will also be alleged over $6 million dollars in real estate, vehicles and assets have been obtained as a result of their criminal activity.