International drug lords are coercing a new breed of drug mule to bring illicit substances into Queensland via the Glitter Strip.
International drug lords are coercing a new breed of drug mule to bring illicit substances into Queensland via the Glitter Strip.

New breed of drug mule hits Coast

DRUG lords are coercing South American students to traffic cocaine to the Gold Coast, sparking covert federal police profiling.

Australian Federal Police - based in Brisbane - and overseas authorities, have bolstered their resources to try to stop a continual drip-feed of trafficking into the region.

It comes as The Courier-Mail can today reveal details of AFP-led Operation Stonecoal, an investigation that revealed a bunch of Gold Coast and Northern NSW Gen Y drug dealers were embroiled with a Colombian syndicate that repeatedly sent them cocaine, which was sold to bikies.

The mastermind behind the importation was a 24-year-old part-time DJ, who would blow $500-$10,000 a night at Gold Coast casinos and nightclubs to reward a large circle of friends who would send money overseas to buy the drugs.

Despite the police investigation being finalised in 2013, and the main ringleader being in jail, the AFP has evidence suggesting South American drug lords are coercing students to bring drugs to Queensland.

Some may also be doing it willingly.

An AFP spokesman told The Courier-Mail investigations continue.

"Operation Stonecoal, along with other investigations, has increased law enforcement attention to the use of vulnerable students and tourists being exploited by organised crime groups,'' the spokesman said.

"These organised crime groups continue preying on South American students and overseas tourists travelling to Australia as a way to further their illicit business.

"Investigations like Operation Stonecoal have contributed to a significant increase in the screening abilities of law enforcement, both domestically and internationally.

"These investigations have also enhanced the collaborative working relationship of the AFP with foreign law enforcement partners, including those in South America, to identify and target the off-shore organised crime groups who prey on young students and tourists travelling to ­Australia."