Nightclub owner Jamie Pickering, DJ Joseph ‘JoeyMojo’ Sandagon, senior bikie Joshua Downey, and Ivan Tesic, who’s long been on police watch lists, are among 152 arrested as part of Operation Kilo Fraction, which targeted an alleged drug ring operating in the Gold Coast party scene.
Concluding over the weekend with three days of raids, including four on different Surfers Paradise nightclubs, the 18-month investigation targeting the Glitter Strip’s party drug scene has seen the arrests of figures including 37 bikie gang members or associates on more than 400 charges.
Police also seized 18kg of cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine and six litres of methamphetamine oil, which could have been used to make $11 million worth of drugs. Police say the operation stopped $26 million in drugs hitting the streets, as the Gold Coast Bulletin writes.
Part-owner of Club Liv and long-suspected criminal figure Ivan Tesic was at the centre of the Queensland police’s investigation, with police alleging that the 43-year-old is the ringleader of the syndicate and responsible for pushing drugs through Pickering’s Glitter Strip nightclubs and others.
DJs and nightclub staff were also alleged to be on the syndicate’s payroll, with the Brisbane Times reporting that infamous ‘Nikie Bikie’ Joshua Downey led police to alleged cocaine supplier Braden Quan, who reportedly sold the drug out of a private booth at Surfers Paradise nightclub Club Liv.
Quan then led officers to Club Liv events manager Sureshen Reddy, who allegedly supplied cocaine to DJs at other Surfers Paradise clubs, including Shuffle and Pickering’s own SinCity. From there, police reportedly secured evidence that Tesic was the mastermind of an interstate drug empire.
Club Liv, which is located on Orchid Avenue, was shut down on Friday night as part of the raids, with police searching every patron after entering the premises at around 11:15pm. The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that punters were put in groups of 10 by officers and asked to lineup outside of the club before sniffer dogs surveyed each person. Anyone carrying illegal substances was arrested.