NIGHTCLUB managers, employees, bikies and a DJ have been arrested and millions of dollars worth of drugs, cash and assets have been seized following the biggest police drug blitz to ever hit the Gold Coast.
Following more than 18 months of investigation, Operation Kilo Fraction was closed over the weekend with raids on Surfers Paradise nightclubs and residential properties, involving approximately 100 police officers.
Scores of police stormed several nightclubs on Friday night, including Club LIV and Shuffle, where they say a number of people, including a high profile DJ, were arrested on a number of serious drug trafficking and dangerous drug charges.
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Police allege Club LIV was central to the distribution of dangerous drugs within the nightclub precinct in Surfers Paradise.
43-year-old Ivan Tesic, part-owner of the club and alleged ringleader behind the drug operation, was arrested as was the owner of SinCity and Vanity nightclubs, Jamie Pickering.
In total, 152 people have been arrested on more than 400 charges since the Operation Kilo Fraction commenced on 16 August, 2012.
Police allege 37 offenders are participants in criminal motorcycle gangs, namely the Bandidos, Finks, Mongols, Rebels, Highway 61 and the Lone Wolves. Two have been charged under the VLAD legislation with one alleged to be an office bearer.
Some offenders were arrested interstate and will be subject of extradition hearings in the near future to have them returned to Queensland.
During the protracted investigation, police seized around $500,000 in cash, a large quantity of MDMA (ecstasy) and methylamphetamine, more than 15kgs of cocaine, six litres of methylenedioxymethamphetamine and steroids with a combined street value exceeding $26 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 including an additional $700,000 in cash, four luxury homes and a number of high performance vehicles, motorcycles, boats and expensive jewellery, including a watch allegedly worth around $500,000.
Investigations began when Gold Coast police commenced an investigation into the suspected trafficking of dangerous drugs by members of the Gold Coast chapter of the Bandidos Criminal Motorcycle Gang in August 2012.
The investigation identified a large number of persons who were allegedly trafficking, supplying and purchasing dangerous drugs within the Gold Coast community, a number of who were involved in the Surfers Paradise nightclub industry and criminal motorcycle gangs.
Police also obtained evidence to prosecute members of a ‘stand alone’ criminal organisation led by a well known criminal identity listed as a priority offender on the National Criminal Targeting Database.
During the investigation, police further identified a syndicate of Brazilian Nationals who were responsible for the importation and distribution of commercial quantities of cocaine within the greater Gold Coast community.
As a result, Operation Lima Exposure commenced on 1 November 2012 and was closed on 7 December 2013, resulting in the arrest of 23 persons for drug offences including drug importation and the seizure of over 15 kilograms of cocaine.