Community assist police drug busts

AS a week-long police operation targeting clandestine laboratories and amphetamine production ended, Gympie Police thanked those who provided information. that helped bust a number of drug labs this year.

Operation Unification commenced on November 19 with a specific focus on illegal laboratories within the community, set up to produce amphetamines.

During the operation, police across Queensland located and seized a total of six illicit drug laboratories; one pill press; one kilogram of amphetamines; 14.6 kilograms of cannabis; 275 cannabis plants; more than 800 MDMA (ecstasy) pills; and 18 firearms.

More than 100 people were charged for 342 drug-related and other offences.

The start of the operation coincided with the national Crime Stoppers phone-in day, which called on the community to report anyone suspected of being involved in the production, trafficking and supply of these illegal drugs.

Queensland Police Detective Acting Chief Superintendent Brian Wilkins, of State Crime Operations Command, said the combination of information supplied via Crime Stoppers and proactive police operations had led to some significant results in the past.

“Police in all regions and State Crime Operations Command worked together in a unified approach.

“And, in addition to locating equipment used to produce dangerous drugs, (police) also located a quantity of amphetamines and cannabis,” he said.

“A major arrest can quite often start from one person noticing some suspicious activity in their neighbourhood and taking the time to contact police or Crime Stoppers.”

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to call Crime Stoppers and to keep an eye out for the following signs that are quite often indicative of illegal activity.

  •  Strong smells that might resemble urine or unusual chemical smell like ether or ammonia;
  •  Little or no traffic during the day, but heavy traffic late at night;
  •  Windows blacked-out or extra efforts made to cover windows or reinforce doors;
  •  Evidence of unusual electrical work surrounding the premises;
  •  Fan or pump type noises;
  •  Noticeable hoses and pipes near windows or doors for ventilation or water supply;
  •  Installation of extractor fans (especially in garages/sheds);
  •  Residents never putting their rubbish bins out or burning all rubbish;
  •  Laboratory material surrounding property (butane fuel cans, stained coffee filters, clear glass jugs and duct tape);
  •  Dying grass or plants in a particular area; and
  •  Large plastic containers with or without labels.
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