Underground bicycle bunker found as $5 million worth of drugs seized in NSW and Queensland

Nearly $5 million in drugs have been seized and more than 60 people have been arrested in a police operation to crack down on a major crime syndicate Queensland and New South Wales.

The NSW and South East Queensland Police Department targeted criminal networks in the Northern Rivers and the Gold Coast border region.

During the two-week period of “Operation Viking”, authorities visited properties in Grafton, Tweed Heads and Ewingsdale, Bilambil Heights and Carrara.

Some of the items seized during Operation Viking in NSW and Queensland
Seven firearms were seized in the two-week period. (NSW Police)
Some of the items seized during Operation Viking in NSW and Queensland
Luxury goods such as these watches were also found during the raids. (NSW Police)

Officers found more than 40 firearms, more than $150,000 in cash, luxury cars and jewelry, and a variety of illicit drugs, including methylamphetamine, cocaine, GHB and cannabis.

Police believe the number of seized drugs has an estimated street value of $4.5 million.

During the raids, police found two hydroponic cannabis cultivation labs in Carrara and 2.5 kilograms of cannabis.

Some of the items seized during Operation Viking in NSW and Queensland
Several kilograms of cannabis were seized and cultivation labs were shut down. (NSW Police)

They also found and seized chemicals and equipment used to make drugs in Seelands, near Grafton.

NSW Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Jason Weinstein added that an underground bunker used for Mongolian bike gang meetings was also discovered in the Grafton area

“It was a residential property and they had made a bunker and in that bunker was memorabilia from the Mongols, there was a bar, a motorcycle,” he said.

Police discover Mongolian bike shelter in northern NSW
Police discover Mongolian bike shelter in northern NSW (NSW Police)

“It was a location where the Mongols in that particular chapter believed they were free from police activity where they could congregate, talk business and socialize.”

He added that about 40 percent of cycling groups operate in the northern region of NSW.

“The problem is quite big,” he said.

Some of the items seized during Operation Viking in NSW and Queensland
Mongolian bicycle memorabilia was seized. (NSW Police)

Weinstein said 13 people in NSW were arrested during the operation.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Katherine Innes said 54 people have been arrested.

“It wasn’t just to arrest offenders, but to get an important intelligence briefing about what the crime landscape is like in the Northern Borders and Queensland and what connection they have with transnational crime organizations,” Weinstein said.

Some of the items seized during Operation Viking in NSW and Queensland
Two more of the weapons found during the police operation. (NSW Police)

Weinstein said the operation has put a dent in illegal activity between NSW and Queensland.

“The Northern Border Zone has the state’s largest OMCG population with significant crossover between NSW and QLD,” he said.

“We know that criminal organizations established themselves on the North Coast because of the lucrative drug market and the idea that the area is relatively free from law enforcement surveillance.

Weapons seized in NSW and Queensland raids
Weapons seized in NSW and Queensland raids (NSW Police)

“I am convinced that that perception has changed after these two weeks.”

Innes said the operation “should serve as a warning” to anyone looking to engage in illegal criminal activity along the border.

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