Drugs, cash and assets seized on Gold Coast

This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service.

Five men will face a Gold Coast court today (Monday 8 November) charged with drug and proceeds of crime offences after more than one million dollars in cash, illicit drugs and luxury items were seized as part of a joint operation.

The investigation, codenamed Operation Oxfordshire, began earlier this year when the Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (QJOCTF) identified a southeast Queensland syndicate allegedly trafficking cocaine into the region from Sydney.

The QJOCTF is a multi-agency taskforce comprised of members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police Service (QPS), ACIC, Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

On Friday 5 November, officers from the AFP and QPS intercepted a van on the Gold Coast Highway at Bilinga that was suspected of being used for a ‘drug run’.

Police allege about 1kg of cocaine, worth $380,000, was hidden inside two cryovac bags submerged inside a paint tin. A 30-year-old Brisbane man and a 37-year-old Gold Coast man were arrested and charged with multiple offences.

Search warrants were then executed at multiple premises across Brisbane and the Gold Coast, including residences and businesses. AFP and QPS officers allegedly seized more illicit drugs including cocaine, steroids and testosterone, two cryovac machines, hydraulic press pieces and electronic scales.

Police arrested two more Gold Coast men following execution of the search warrants on Friday and Saturday (5 and 6 November). A fifth man was arrested on the Gold Coast yesterday (7 November).

Under Operation Oxfordshire, officers have seized illicit substances worth a combined $655,000 and luxury property suspected of being the proceeds of crime with a combined value of more than $2 million.

The seizures include about $1.15 million in cash, 2.1 kilograms of cocaine, encrypted mobile phones, designer watches worth more than $800,000, several luxury cars including a Lamborghini 724 Huracan, a jet-ski and a cash counting machine.

QJOCTF Commander AFP Detective Inspector Scott Curtis said the investigation into this matter remained ongoing and warned the community that law enforcement officers were on high alert for drug offences as we head into end of year Schoolies activities.

“As police, we know better than most the significant and heartbreaking impact that illegal drugs have on individuals, families and whole communities – especially at this time of the year,” he said.

“We believe that this seizure of cocaine worth nearly $400,000 would have been circulating throughout southeast Queensland as the Class of 2021 started celebrating Schoolies and other end-of-school events.”

QPS Detective Superintendent Colin Briggs said the arrests showed how a multi-agency approach gives Queensland law enforcement agencies greater options in disrupting criminal networks.

“These joint agency taskforces have been established to inflict maximum damage to the criminals who seek to line their own pockets by bringing illicit and dangerous substances into Australia,” Detective Superintendent Briggs said.

“By stopping these illegal drugs from hitting the streets, we are protecting Australians from the terrible community and social harm caused by drug abuse and taking money away from the criminal networks who feed on greed, profits, and harm to the community.”

The men have been charged with the following offences:

  • A 30-year-old Seven Hills man was charged with 12 offences:
    • One count of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 5 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing dangerous drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 9(1)(a) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • Two counts of possessing a dangerous drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing a dangerous drug, namely steroids, contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing a dangerous drugs (restricted) contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing things in connection with a crime used contrary to section 10(1)(b)) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • Three counts of possessing proceeds of crime contrary to the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing items suspected as being used with crime contrary to section 10A of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld); and
    • One count of failing to take reasonable precaution contrary to section 10(4) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld).
  • The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.
  • A 37-year-old Mermaid Water man has been charged with eight offences:
    • One count of possessing dangerous drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 9(1)(a) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing a dangerous drug, namely steroids, contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • Three counts of possessing things in connection with a crime used contrary to section 10(1)(b)) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • Two counts of possessing proceeds of crime contrary to the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (Qld); and
    • One count of possessing a drug utensil contrary to section 10(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld).
  • The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.
  • A 29-year-old Coomera man was charged with six offences.
    • One count of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 5 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • Two counts of possessing a dangerous drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld);
    • One count of possessing things in connection with a crime used contrary to section 10(1)(b) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld); and
    • Two counts of possessing proceeds of crime contrary to the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (Qld).
  • The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.
  • A 31-year-old Surfer Paradise man has been charged with two offences:
    • One count of possessing amphetamines contrary to section 9(1) of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld); and
    • One count of receiving tainted property contrary to section 433(1) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).
  • The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.
  • A 28-year-old Hope Island man has been charged with one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug contrary to section 5 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 (Qld). The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years’ imprisonment.

The four men arrested on Friday each faced Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday 6 November and were remanded to re-appear today (Monday 8 November).

The man arrested yesterday (7 November) is also scheduled to face Southport Magistrates Court today.

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