National operations target distribution of ice into rural communities

As part of a national action strategy, police from across the state have conducted police operations targeting the transportation of ice and other dangerous drugs into rural and remote communities, Queensland Police say.

Over the past two days, officers from State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Gangs Group with the Road Policing Command, Operations Support Command and Southern, Central and Northern police regions conducted Operation Papa Rattle.

The operation was conducted under the over-arching command of the National Anti-Gangs Squad which was established to target the involvement of outlaw motorcycle clubs in illegal activities, including the production and trafficking of ice through various distribution channels.

The National Ice Taskforce identified ice as being distributed throughout Australia via extensive criminal networks, and made recommendations States and Territories (with the National Anti-Gangs Squad) operationalise joint responses to address activities in regional and remote areas.

As a result, Operation Papa Rattle was commenced at a national level to target the criminal distribution of ice through rural communities.

In Queensland, Operation Papa Rattle’s strategies involved coordinated interception sites in Stanthorpe, St George, Goondiwindi, Charters Towers, Bundaberg and Mourilyan.  The sites targeted regional transportation routes, coordinated with activities in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

In addition, the Organised Crime Gangs Group with Mackay District police undertook operations at the Proserpine Airport using passive drug dog searches.

Police have also executed a number of search warrants in regional communities targeting the supply of ice and other drugs.  As a result, 17 charges of supplying ice were commenced in the rural communities targeted.

Queensland Police also located quantities of ice, cannabis, MDMA and prescription drugs.  In Queensland, a total of 90 offenders were charged with 175 offences (contributing to the nationwide total of 117 persons on 234 offences).

Nationally, police also located quantities of cash as well as weapons.   Five people were charged with drink driving offences as well as 24 offenders testing positive to driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

A total of 1567 vehicles were intercepted throughout Queensland, with police conducting 1466 breath tests and 259 drug tests.

Nationwide, police seized drugs with an estimated street value of over $700,000 during the operation.

“This was a coordinated strategy, with law enforcement across the country working as a united front to disrupt the criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs and to prevent dangerous drugs reaching our regional communities,” Detective Superintendent Roger Lowe of the Organised Crime Gangs Group said.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

/Public Release.