Police raids find drugs masquerading as incense
POLICE have raided 19 adult stores, herbal shops and tobacconists across Queensland for synthetic drugs masquerading as incense.
Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Marsh from the drug and serious crime group said they had seized synthetic drugs from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay and Bowen shops during the state's largest co-ordinated raid on these retailers.
Earlier this month they also conducted raids in Bundaberg.
He warned people using the drugs, such as Kronic, Happy Buddha, Mellow Yellow, Jungle Fever, Sincense and Mind Rape Extreme, were putting themselves in "grave danger".
In February and March undercover officers entered the shops and bought the synthetic drugs.
"People are dying and other people are making considerable profit out of the naivety of the Queensland community," Det Snr Sgt Marsh said.
"The Queensland coroner reports that in the last 10 years, eight deaths have been directly linked to the use of synthetic drugs."
He said the mark ups on the prices were staggering, revealing some packages were sold over the counter to people of all ages in 7g bags for more than $100 and 3g were about $60 to $70.
Det Snr Sgt Marsh could not comment on whether owners knew the brightly coloured packages disguised as incense were illegal drugs.
He said while police had located some producers in Queensland, the larger scale producers were based interstate - mostly in Victoria, where the government is yet to formalise their misuse of drugs legislation.
Det Snr Sgt Marsh explained the chemicals came from China and India for about $1000 each litre then they were then mixed with acetone in a spray bottle and sprayed onto a dried leaf material.
"These are clearly not incense, they're clearly not a herbal tea, they're not potpourri," Det Snr Sgt Marsh said.
"No one is going to spend that sort of money on anything else other than they believe is a dangerous drug.
"Don't be mistaken people, these drugs are illegal."