HAZARDOUS: Fire crews at the scene of a suspected clandestine drug lab in Toormina Place yesterday.
HAZARDOUS: Fire crews at the scene of a suspected clandestine drug lab in Toormina Place yesterday. Bruce Thomas

Police find lab in raid

DETECTIVES have dismantled a suspected clandestine drug laboratory in Coffs Harbour.

They swooped on the Toormina Place apartment on Wednesday afternoon and seized unlawful apparatus consistent with the manufacture of drugs.

Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said it appeared the lab, which was set up on a table, had not yet been in operation.

Police are now testing the apparatus – which includes prohibited articles such as chemical condensers – as part of their ongoing investigation.

“As a result of what we found and due to how dangerous these things can be, the scene was contained,” Mr Lindsay said.

“Specialist police from Sydney flew up on Wednesday night to examine the set-up and fire brigade hazardous materials crews were also called in.”

Police interviewed a Coffs Harbour man, 25, at the scene on Wednesday and again at Coffs Harbour Police Station yesterday.

He continues to assist investigators with their inquiries.

“If we detect offences from this apparatus we are testing, there may be action taken down the track,” Mr Lindsay said.

“These laboratories are extremely dangerous. They explode regularly and can seriously injure people.

“These are the dangers these labs pose not only to the operators but the general public.

“That’s why we treat them so seriously and that’s why we need specially-trained police to deal with them.

“This is a reminder for people that these illegal drugs are manufactured in illegal set-ups by backyard operators who have no concern about the detrimental effects these drugs can have on people.”

Mr Lindsay urges residents who see suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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