ONE of the world’s largest opal collections, stolen from a Hope Island home last year, has been found stashed away on a large property in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
The multi-million dollar stash of stolen opals were recovered on Tuesday as police continued to search a Guanaba property for pilfered goods.
Dozens of officers from Taskforce Takeback and the Gold Coast’s Criminal Investigation Branch first swooped on the Lynwood Drive residence early on Monday morning and executed a search warrant relating to separate matters.
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During the raid, officers said they came across an “Aladin’s Cave” full of stolen goods, including 15 mobile phones, nine computers, 41 television sets, four refrigerators and household products.
Police also located and seized an excavator, a truck, boat, caravan, power tools and two cars – all believed to have been stolen.
A quantity of what is believed to be amphetamines was also located along with around $100,000 in cash.
It is being dubbed one of the biggest stolen property hauls in Gold Coast history.
Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson from Gold Coast Police told reporters the value of property seized was close to $2 million, not including the opals.
“We are fortunate on this occasion that what started off as potentially a routine inquiry has rolled into something much bigger,” Det Supt. Hutchinson said.
“The value of the property recovered is probably going to be close to two million dollars, and that’s not including the opals.
“We don’t know whether all the opals have been recovered. We have identified these opals were the ones stolen from a reported break and enter complaint at Hope Island between March 6 and 8 last year,” he said.
It’s rumoured the gem collection, reported missing by high-profile businessman John Fish, could be worth around $4 million.
Five men were initially arrested and questioned by police on Monday.
Police remained at the Guanaba property this morning and were expected to wrap up the three-day search today.
A man in his 40s already facing charges related to the raid has been additionally charged with stealing the opal collection. He will face court again on May 12.
Police expect further charges will be made.