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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Police say they have uncovered one of the largest drug labs in Australia on the southern Gold Coast.

    Five people have been charged as part of a lengthy 18-month operation involving Queensland Police and the Australian Crime Commission.

    Police say the drug laboratory was preparing to dump millions of dollars worth of methylamphetamine and MDMA onto the streets.

    Acting Detective Superintendent Garry Watts says the operation is not over.

    "The initial phase of the operation was executed on Monday; we've got search warrants being conducted today with further equipment being processed and identified," he said.

    "By no means is this investigation over. We've got to put together all the evidence and we will be conducting further investigations to identify all other people who may have been involved and has assisted in relation to this."

    He says the drug lab headquarters was found on a remote Queensland property in the Currumbin Valley near the New South Wales border.

    "The potential drug-manufacturing capabilities of this clandestine drug laboratory indicated there was sufficient chemicals to manufacture 70 kilograms of methylamphetamine, with a street value in excess of $30 million and a similar amount of MDMA," he said.

    More than 2.5 tonnes of chemicals and manufacturing equipment worth $300,000 were netted in the raids.

    More than 100 staff were involved in executing eight search warrants, and police said the operation had shut down a potentially explosive lab that posed a risk to public safety.

    Those charged range in age from 19 to 44.

    By Russell Varley
    Updated Wed Jun 8, 2011 5:37pm AEST



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