Qld drug syndicate could face VLAD charges

Members of an organised crime syndicate arrested over a $2.


5 million haul of cannabis may also be charged under the Queensland government’s controversial VLAD laws.

Gold Coast police intercepted a car on Wednesday night containing 90 kilograms of the drug.

It is alleged the two men in the vehicle drove over the border with the intention of selling it in Queensland.

Further raids across the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast on Thursday morning recovered another 210 kilograms and a small quantity of methylamphetamine.

If sold in southeast Queensland, police say the cannabis would have a street value of $2.5 million.

A total of 11 people have been charged with drug offences, with possibly more to come.

Detective Inspector Stephen Blanchfield said the two men found with the 90-kilogram haul were believed to be “significant players” in the Gold Coast cannabis market.

“We think we have certainly made a significant impact on an organised criminal association,” he said.

“We see this as a particularly big win.”

The syndicate is not believed to be affiliated with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Det Insp Blanchfield said police would consider charging the group under the controversial VLAD laws, even though they were under review following recommendations from retired Supreme Court justice Alan Wilson this month.

“That legislation is still current and we will use it if it’s available to us,” he said.

If convicted, each offender could face an additional 15 years behind bars.

The arrests were part of Operation Goldensilk, a 12-month investigation by the major and organised crime squad.