Lies, drugs and paper plates: Unbelievable tales from border

 

THERE has been no shortage of work for officers on the beat at Queensland-New South Wales border, seizing drugs, arresting wanted men and women, finding weapons and all the while trying to stop the spread of coronavirus. Here are a few of the cases Queensland Police intercepted:

March 26: Driver stopped trying to cross the border with paper licence plates. He was wanted on a warrant and when police searched his car they found stolen plates, green leaf material, a glass pipe and scales. Charged with two drug and property and one traffic offence.

Police continue to patrol the border at Griffith Street, Coolangatta. Picture: Adam Head
Police continue to patrol the border at Griffith Street, Coolangatta. Picture: Adam Head


April 8: Police stop a Ford Ranger towing a trailer on the highway. They uncover 93kg of cannabis with a street value of $450,000 and $4300 in cash. A 31-year-old Gold Coast man was charged with possession of dangerous drugs and possession of property suspected to be used in connection with a drug offence.

Drugs, gun and ammunition found in car boot at Tugun border checkpoint. Photo: Queensland Police
Drugs, gun and ammunition found in car boot at Tugun border checkpoint. Photo: Queensland Police


May 8: Search of a truck uncovers 45kg of cannabis hidden in suitcases. A 35-year-old Victorian man was helping police.

May 18: Two people try to steal items from Coolangatta store. Staff threatened with a boxcutter, before offenders flee. Border control staff later arrest the pair. They were charged with five offences including assault, stealing and possession of a knife.

May 26: A car drove through two checkpoints at high speed without stopping, colliding with a post and barrier. Driver later found at Gaven and charged with a number of traffic offences.

Police chase and arrest a runner from Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Police chase and arrest a runner from Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. Picture: Glenn Hampson


June 5: Woman found drunk at the Griffith St border crossing. Police will allege she spat on an officer when she was taken to a police car, hitting him in the face. The juvenile female was charged with serious assault police.

June 8: Man pulled over at the Griffith St crossing and charged with six offences including property, traffic, drug and breach bail offences.

Police chase and arrest a runner from Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Police chase and arrest a runner from Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. Picture: Glenn Hampson


June 14: Man found passed out in a car behind the Broadbeach Police Station. Police will allege he travelled from New South Wales and could not offer a reason for being in Queensland other than to party and get drugs. He was issued with a COVID-19 penalty infringement notice (PIN).

July 6: Officers noticed Holden Colorado with what appeared to be stolen plates. When they pulled the car over, they found it had been stolen on July 1 from Brisbane during a burglary. Man charged with 12 offences including property, drug and traffic offences.

Two men arrested at tattoo shop near the Griffith St checkpoint after they were told to leave. Police allege one of the men made threats with a knife. Both charged with six offences, including possession of a knife, public order and drug offences.

Queensland Police on border control duties at Coolangatta in 1919.
Queensland Police on border control duties at Coolangatta in 1919.


July 8: First COVID-19 PIN issued for providing untrue information in a border declaration pass. Man accused of completing the declaration in a false name and repeating false name to police. Police discover man completed the declaration in order to visit his girlfriend in Queensland. Fined $4003.

July 9: Man who was refused entry in June tries luck at another crossing using a pass with untrue information. He told officers he had been living in his car since travelling to Queensland. He was escorted to the border.

July 11: Some occupants of car appear to be in sleepy, drug-affected state after vehicle stopped at Gold Coast Highway checkpoint. Police found two containers of suspected GHB/GBL. Investigations ongoing.

July 12: Car with Victoria number plates seen dropping off five people as it approached the Griffith St checkpoint. Driver then attempts to enter Queensland. When questioned by police, he admits to dropping off people. Police track down the five people. They have fraudulent border passes, fined $4003 and returned to the border.

July 13: Motorbike pulled over at M1 checkpoint. Driver wanted for breach of bail. He speeds off narrowly missing the car in front and officers on foot. Later found in Logan and charged with contravening a requirement and breach of bail.

Police in action at the border. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Police in action at the border. Picture: Glenn Hampson


July 14: Two people accused of lying about being in Victoria 14 days before entry into Queensland. Both issued PINs and fined.

July 16: Police go to a home in northern Gold Coast where two people found to have fraudulently entered Queensland from New South Wales. All persons inside the home, including two other family members, directed into quarantine at a government hotel. Two men further issued with COVID PINs.

July 17: Woman who tried to enter Queensland on two different buses after being in a New South Wales hot spot issued with PIN and sent packing back home. She tried to enter via the Griffith St checkpoint and turned away. Later tried same checkpoint and issued with PIN.

July 19: Woman stopped at M1 checkpoint told police she did not need a pass to enter as she was a Queenslander. Said she would return to New South Wales and only to drive off into Queensland. Found two days later at her home and charged with evade police.

July 20: Police stop car at the M1 checkpoint on July 14 with no border pass visible. He had been in Victoria in the past 14 days and was turned around. On July 20, he tried to enter again saying he wanted to visit a friend in north Queensland. Issued with COVID PIN.

A Gold Coast man alleged to have $450,000 worth of cannabis in his vehicle will face drug charges after being arrested at the state border checkpoint.
A Gold Coast man alleged to have $450,000 worth of cannabis in his vehicle will face drug charges after being arrested at the state border checkpoint.


July 22: Car pulled over at M1 checkpoint due to an apparent loose wheel. Police will allege car had been involved in a hit and run incident and that the driver was unlicensed. Search of car uncovers various quantities of drugs, a firearm and ammunition. Two people charged with seven offences.

July 24: Police conduct checks on man who had been told to self-quarantine eight days earlier. Man's mother tells police he was in quarantine, but had left when his coronavirus test came back negative. Police claim he did not complete the mandatory quarantine period.

July 27: Two people tried on different occasions to enter Queensland after being in a New South Wales hot spot. On both occasions they declined to go into quarantine and instead to return to New South Wales. They later entered Queensland with false border declarations. One of the men found in Logan and refused to go into quarantine. Police allege he obstructed officers and was being taken to a quarantine hotel when he began kicking the paddy wagon. Taken to Southport Watch-house and charged with obstruct police and issued a PIN. Investigations ongoing into the second person.

A man flew into Coolangatta on a flight from Sydney found to be wanted on a return to prison warrant. The man accused of running from airport, breaking into a home and stealing clothes, changing and trying to hide in bushland near the beach at Kirra. Found by the dog squad and charged with burglary and obstruct police.

Bags full of cannabis seized at the Queensland border on the Gold Coast.
Bags full of cannabis seized at the Queensland border on the Gold Coast.


July 28: Police stop a man at Griffith St checkpoint wanted on a warrant. Arrested and taken to hospital for assessment.

Police stop Volkswagen vehicle about 11.10pm at the Griffith St checkpoint. One of the occupants accused of being involved in armed robbery at convenience store on Griffith St the day before. The store attendant was threatened with a hammer. While officers talk to the alleged offender, his girlfriend attends scene to take the car. She is taken into custody for her alleged involvement in the robbery. The brother of the first offender arrives and allegedly tries to break into the car. He is also arrested and searched; police allegedly finding a knife, screwdriver, scales and a drink bottle containing what appeared to be fantasy.

Originally published as Lies, drugs and paper plates: The most unbelievable tales from the border

Super Intendant Mark Wheeler with his fellow Queensland Police officers re enact a photo from 1919 when the QLD/NSW Border was closed due to the Spanish flu. Picture Scott Powick
Super Intendant Mark Wheeler with his fellow Queensland Police officers re enact a photo from 1919 when the QLD/NSW Border was closed due to the Spanish flu. Picture Scott Powick

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