Menu
News

Nimbin drugs fund 'gangster lifestyle' on Gold Coast

UPDATE 9.30am: THE eleven men arrested following yesterday's raids, aged between 21 and 35, have been charged with a range of offences.

They include consorting, supply prohibited drug, knowingly take part in supply of prohibited drug, proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group.

Police seized an estimated 5kg of cannabis, MDMA Tablets, methyl amphetamine (ICE), two firearms, and a range of prohibited weapons including an electronic stun gun, defensive spray and a slingshot during the raids.

They recovered property alleged to have been stolen, including power tools and a large generator.

Police also seized $55,000 cash that is alleged to be the proceeds of crime.

The Strike Force set up to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs, dubbed Cuppa, included detectives from the Richmond Local Area Command, and was assisted by officers from the Northern Region Operation Support Group.

All the men arrested were refused bail to appear before Lismore Local Court today.

 

UPDATE, 8am: GOLD Coast "gangsters" who allegedly sold drugs in Nimbin to support their lavish lifestyle have been arrested during a joint police operation spanning two states.

Eleven people were arrested in New South Wales and one in Queensland after police executed search warrants at four locations in Nimbin, one in Lismore and two in Queensland yesterday.

Richmond Local Area Command detective chief inspector Cameron Lindsay said close to $1 million worth of illegal drugs, including cannabis, ice, MDMA and steroids, were seized as well as firearms and $60,000 in cash.

The crime manager said the operation, dubbed Strike Force Cuppa, was part of an ongoing operation into what police will allege is the commercial supply of illegal drugs in the Northern Rivers.

"Police will allege the targets of this operation are living a gangster lifestyle within the Gold Coast area supported by the dealing of primarily cannabis from what we call the Laneway at Nimbin," he said.

"(They're) living in lavish-style houses unsupported by any form of income, any form of work, frequenting casinos, flash cars and the like."

Insp Lindsay said the raids were part of an ongoing investigation and further arrests were anticipated.

"It has been going on for a long period of time and partly assisted by the dob-in-a-dealer campaign where we've received significant amounts of information from the public," he said.

Strike force officers were also in attendance at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport as part of the investigation.

Police will allege more than 100gms of the drug ice was discovered during the search warrants in Queensland.

Insp Detective chief inspector Lindsay said the arrests, in addition to those made last week, would have an impact on drug dealing operations on the Northern Rivers.

Last week, police from the Richmond LAC executed three search warrants, at Mount Burrell, Lennox Head and a property between Kyogle and Nimbin where they will allege they uncovered a hydroponic set up with 50 cannabis plants, more than 200kg of dried cannabis leaf and cash.

Seven men were arrested.
 

 

UPDATE, 6.30pm: WATCH the scene unfold in Nimbin as police raided, searching for drugs.

 

 

UPDATE, 4pm: POLICE have arrested 10 people during a joint operation that was executed this morning at four locations in Nimbin, one in Lismore and two in Queensland.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said close to $1 million worth of illegal drugs were seized during the cross-border operation with Queensland police.

"Police will allege the targets of this operation are living a gangster lifestyle within the Gold Coast area supported by the dealing of primarily cannabis from what we call the Laneway at Nimbin," he said.

 

Det Insp Lindsay said the operation, dubbed Strike Force Cuppa, was part on an ongoing operation into what police will allege is the commercial supply of illegal drugs including cannabis, ice, MDMA and steroids on the Northern Rivers.

 

UPDATE, 3pm: Andrew Kavasilas from the Hemp Party said police "grabbed a number of people, probably cannabis related".

"That's what it usually is ... it looks like it's part of an ongoing operation, it seems. It was all very coordinated," he said.

"My thoughts are that it is all a complete waste of time.

"Australians smoke about $5 billion worth of cannabis a year, and this is just a waste of time; we should be taxing and regulating it.

"A lot of people come to Nimbin and buy cannabis for medical purposes. Tens of thousands around Australia are doing it.

"The governments are just stalling. We want to get recreational sorted out, but we haven't done medical or even hemp seed food, because of police obstruction.

"(This is) quite an operation, probably about 50 cops, and a lot of pre-planning to come to Nimbin to catch a bit of pot."

 

UPDATE, 1.30pm: Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said The Hemp Embassy had not been raided, despite reports on social media.

He also described this morning's raid as a stunt before the election so the police "looked like they were winning the 'war on drugs'".

Mr Balderstone said the raid was still taking place at the vacant lots where the Rainbow Café and Museum once stood before the Cullen St fire.

"They are upturning plants and looking at foliage. I don't think they'll fund much," he said.

Mr Balderstone said he understood the raids were also taking place in individual homes.

"They (the police)  have been rough and have slammed boys' heads into the cement during arrests," he said.

 

UDPATE, 12.30pm: Cannabis, ice and MDMA and cash have been seized as part of this morning's police operation at Nimbin.

Police have alleged the operation was conducted as part of a larger operation in conjunction with Queensland Police.

 

UPDATE, 11.55am: Police have just confirmed multiple arrests have been made in Nimbin over suspected drug dealing. 

Police making arrests at Nimbin.
Police making arrests at Nimbin. Cathy Adams

Onlookers described the scene as "overkill", claiming that police were targeting youths for minor offences.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: POLICE have confirmed a crime scene in Nimbin this morning with reports of up to 50 officers in attendance.

Officers from the Richmond Local Area Command have established a crime scene in the car park behind Cullen St.

 

A crime scene has been established at Nimbin this morning.
A crime scene has been established at Nimbin this morning. Cathy Adams

A Northern Star staff member was overtaken by nine or 10 police cars on Nimbin Rd near Goolmangar just before 11am.

Reports from Facebook group Nimbin Hookups have stated that 30 police and eight dogs are present at the Nimbin 'blister' near the laneway off Cullen Street.

One social media user said a raid was currently underway.

A crime scene has been established at Nimbin this morning.
A crime scene has been established at Nimbin this morning. Cathy Adams

Another wrote:

"Witness a van full of cops chase the lane boys, caught one but he was clean, left Nimbin coming down Nimbin road I passed six cop cars, two wagons, two buses and two dog cars, stay clear of Nimbin."

No further details are available from the Lismore Police station at the moment.

More information as it becomes available.

Topics:  drugs editors picks nimbin police raid



Car destroyed after it was left on roadside engulfed in fire

CAR FIRE: Firefighters from Sawtell were called to a burning Ford Falcon left on the side of Hulberts Rd, Sawtell on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

WATCH: Firefighters tackle car blaze late last night

Rubbish truck's load catches alight

A J.R. Richards and Sons rubbish truck container caught alight on the Pacific Highway.

Fire in skip bin causes traffic hold ups

Coffs sisters battle it out on My Kitchen Rules

Sisters Georgie, 25, and Alicia, 30 from Coffs Harbour will compete in tonight's episode of My Kitchen Rules

Local sisters bring 'modern take' on Asian cuisine to national TV.

Local Partners