Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS MCMA­HON chris.mcma­hon@news.com.au


A MA­JOR drug syn­di­cate op­er­at­ing be­tween south­east Queens­land and Townsville has been busted, bring­ing down a sig­nif­i­cant traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion.

More than $ 1 mil­lion worth of drugs, weapons and over $ 200,000 in cash was seized as a re­sult of the six­month Op­er­a­tion Papa Orthograde that tar­geted a so­phis­ti­cated syn­di­cate al­legedly mov­ing metham­phetamine, co­caine, MDMA and cannabis from the south­east cor­ner to Townsville.

De­tec­tives from Townsville’s Ma­jor and Or­gan­ised Crime Squad ( MOCS) launched the op­er­a­tion in March this year and over the course of six months dis­man­tled the syn­di­cate.

Townsville MOCS of­fi­cerin- charge De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Mick Walker said raids on Mon­day and Tues­day re­sulted in 31 ar­rests on 144 charges, in­clud­ing drug traf­fick­ing.

“It is a sig­nif­i­cant op­er­a­tion, with ties into south­east Queens­land,” Sen- Sgt Walker said.

“There has been in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in the al­leged traf­fick­ing in the south­east cor­ner that have been charged by the Bris­bane Drug Squad. It was a very so­phis­ti­cated syn­di­cate.

“It will be al­leged they were traf­fick­ing drugs from the south­east cor­ner to Townsville. It’s like a jig­saw puz­zle, where one piece of in­for­ma­tion can lead to unlimited out­comes, like has hap­pened here and is con­tin­u­ing to hap­pen.”

He said elab­o­rate drug syn­di­cates were like spi­der­webs, with the MOCS team tak­ing down just one in this lat­est op­er­a­tion.

“This is just one of those drug spi­der­webs,” he said.

“We’re not kid­ding our­selves, our of­fice is busy and this is just one op­er­a­tion that we are en­gaged in.

“The team put in long hours for this op­er­a­tion.

“It was re­source- in­ten­sive and it was great work by the team and that’s on the back of in­for­ma­tion sup­plied to po­lice by the pub­lic.”

Sen- Sgt Walker said it was a piece of in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic that led to the ma­jor op­er­a­tion bring­ing down the syn­di­cate and he called on the com­mu­nity to keep com­ing for­ward with in­for­ma­tion to help keep the dan­ger­ous sub­stances off the streets.


“Ini­tially we had a piece of in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic. From there we got in and got our hands dirty. We set a plat­form and built from there.

“It was a young crowd ar­rested in this op­er­a­tion. These are peo­ple that are un­em­ployed, they’ve got all the mod­ern com­forts, and I think peo­ple re­alise what’s hap­pen­ing, and they’ve started talk­ing to us. A lot of peo­ple in this town are do­ing it tough and you’ve got young peo­ple run­ning around where money isn’t a prob­lem, flash­ing cash and if we’re go­ing to get fair dinkum about it the pub­lic have to en­gage with us and tell us what’s go­ing on.”

MA­JOR HAUL: Drugs and weapons seized as part of Op­er­a­tion Papa Orthograde. RIGHT: Se­nior Sergeant Mick Walker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.