Gold Coast mystery drug concerns prompt CCC-police operation

Gold Coast mystery drug concerns prompt CCC-police operation

Authorities have sounded a warning to drug dealers amid fears a mystery drug responsible for a number of overdoses at the weekend could still be on the streets ahead of Schoolies.Queensland’s corruption watchdog will use its coercive powers to force suspects to give evidence as police attempt to track down those responsible for distributing the narcotics, thought to be linked to organised crime. Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd says parents of school-leavers should now be warning them ahead of schoolies week. Photo: Jorge Branco Police expected to know the chemical makeup of the drug within 24 hours but Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said a dozen cases at the weekend showed “commonality”.Victorian footballer Riki Stephens remained in a critical condition in hospital surrounded by family and friends after taking what was thought to be the dangerous drug during a footy trip to the coast on the weekend.Eleven others with similar symptoms were among 21 drug cases paramedics were called to, including eight that required police, in Surfers Paradise and Labrador on Friday and Saturday nights.The drug responsible was variously reported to be the “zombie” drug flakka or an extremely pure dose of MDMA but both the police and the Crime and Corruption Commission refused to speculate.

CCC executive director crime Kathleen Florian said it could be a traditional drug in a very high purity, some form of synthetic drug or a combination of the two.Addressing the media in a rare public warning to dealers still holding the dangerous chemical not to risk selling it to unsuspecting punters, she said the so-called “star chamber” hearings were about to start.”One of the things that we’re particularly concerned about is that suppliers or traffickers on the Gold Coast may be continuing to hold this product,” she said.”They may feel after an expiration of time, when things die down, that it would be safe to release that product to the market.”That is not acceptable.”The 12 people thought to have been affected by the unknown substance suffered acute hallucinogenic effects and caused considerable aggression, Ms Florian said.Both agencies raised concerns organised criminals would target his weekend’s Gold Coast 600 and the upcoming Schoolies Week, when thousands of school-leavers flock to the coast from interstate, were of particular concern.She said the distribution of the drug to separate groups of…

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