Bikie Gang Blitz
Police seized a huge quantity of drugs intended for the annual schoolies celebrations in massive two-state police raids yesterday.
Firearms and $23,000 in cash were also seized during early morning swoops on 26 Gold Coast properties, including the Lone Wolves Outlaw motorcycle gang's clubhouse.
The operation, starting around 6.15am, was one of the most complex ever conducted on the Gold Coast and involved almost 150 police from the Gold Coast southern investigative group, Tweeds Heads and the NSW gang squad.
Queensland Detective Inspector Jim Keogh said the gang's primary targets for drug trafficking were schoolies, with about 50,000 school leavers expected over a two-week period starting tomorrow.
Operation Howl specifically targeted the Lone Wolves gang.
Detective Inspector Keogh said the Lone Wolves' clubhouse in Hayter Street, Currumbin, had been raided on the Gold Coast while across the border Inspector Greg Carey said NSW police they had searched 11 premises in the Tweed area.
Four 24 people were charged on the Gold Coast with a combined total of 59 offences.
Two men, from Currumbin, faced Tweeds Heads Magistrates Court yesterday on drug trafficking charges.
One man was kept in custody while the other was granted bail.
Inspector Carey said yesterday's operation was one of the largest ever conducted in the Tweed with 42 officers involved.
The Lone Wolves motorcycle gang at the centre of yesterday's massive police swoop originated in Sydney.
But police said yesterday they had recently transferred their activities to Queensland opening a clubhouse in Hayter Street at Currumbin.
"This operation highlights the fact that these criminals are prepared to cross borders in pursuit of interests," said Burleigh Heads CIB Detective Inspector Keogh.
Det Insp Keogh said police would remain vigilant about stopping drug supplies to schoolies revellers.
"From a stance of the criminal world, schoolies (week) can be seen as an area where there is profit to be made and certainly that appears to be the case," he said.
Police used a metal-cutting device to open the steel-welded doors of the Lone Wolves' clubhouse in Hayter St, Currumbin Waters.
No gang members were inside the building when it was raided.
"There is certainly a market up here for the Outlaw motorcycle clubs," said Detective Inspector Michael Sheehy from the NSW police gang squad.
Det Insp Keogh said the police operation targeting the gangs was an on-going investigation.
"It would be foolhardy to think we're simply going to close them down in one fell swoop," he said.
"But we're not prepared to tolerate the infiltration into Queensland of this or any other gang."
Police gathered intelligence on the Lone Wolves gang over six months of covert investigations before swooping on southern Gold Coast properties this morning.