Qld's largest drug lab busted
POLICE seized more than 2 tonnes of chemicals capable of producing drugs worth $30 million in a raid on a Currumbin Valley property this week.
Five people have been charged in relation to the discovery of 2.5 tonnes of chemicals used to make methylamphetamines estimated to have a street value in excess of $30 million.
The laboratory was raided on Monday with more than 100 police staff acting on 18 months of intelligence, executing 8 search warrants to seize chemicals and more than $300,000 in equipment.
A 44-year-old man from Currumbin Waters, a 19 year old from Currumbin Valley, a 36 year old from Bilinga, a 20 year old from Palm Beach and a 30 year old man from Helensvale have been charged in relation to the incident.
Australian Crime Commission National Manager of Target Development and Intervention Carey Stent said early examinations of the lab suggested it held enough chemicals to produce up to 70kg of methylamphetamine and had the ability to produce many types of drugs.
“The scale of this laboratory puts it in a unique category,” Mr Stent said.
“The majority of illicit drug laboratories detected in Australia are capable of producing one or two drug types.
“The laboratory shutdown on Monday had the potential to produce multiple drug types with multiple processing methods.”
Mr Stent said the lab was unstable with dangerous chemicals posing a constant risk to the community.
“Clan (clandestine) labs are volatile – most of the time there is no proper storage to manage the potentially dangerous chemicals used to manufacture drugs in these labs,”
“This puts communities at risk as clan labs explode and put innocent bystanders and neighbours at risk of injury,” Mr Stent said.
Queensland Police Detective Chief Superintendent Gayle Hogan said the operation showed the dedication of police in dismantling drug operations.
“This investigation has highlighted the investigative and intelligence capabilities of partner agencies working together to provide successful outcomes,” Det Chief Supt Hogan said.