Taskforce Maxima results, June 2014.

Taskforce Maxima results, June 2014. Photo: Supplied

Queensland's anti-bikie Taskforce Maxima has notched its 1000th arrest in an ongoing battle against drug and other crime.

However only 30 alleged bikies have been charged by the taskforce under the Newman government’s anti-association laws.

In the nine months since its formation the taskforce has arrested 1000 offenders on 2418 charges, of which 1096 are related to drug crime.

The controversial laws ban three or more members of a criminal organisation being knowingly present in a public place and were introduced in conjunction with the establishment of Maxima in October last year.

The taskforce was formed under an edict of Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie after 60 Bandidos bikies clashed with Finks associates outside a Broadbeach tapas restaurant.

Maxima was heralded as the squad to “disrupt, dismantle and eliminate criminal motorcycle gangs” from Queensland.

Detective Inspector Brendan Smith of Maxima said the taskforce was fulfilling its brief, with crime across the state falling 2.8 per cent.

“I’m not saying it’s the only reason it’s gone down, but certainly the concentrated effort has made a big difference,” Inspector Smith said.

He said the taskforce was not only targeting bikies, “but we’re targeting their networks”. 

“Their customers, who are buying the drugs, are the ones doing the break and enters,” he said.

“There’s a definite link between drugs and bikies and their distribution networks. And there’s well and truly links between drugs and property crime, so in targeting the people responsible for the distribution and sale of drugs and their networks, as we are, we’re going to have an impact on general crime.”

Yet one of the largest drug busts to occur since Maxima’s inception was put into motion long before the taskforce’s existence.

Gold Coast nightclub owner and alleged drug trafficker Ivan Tessic was arrested in April under Operation Kilo Fraction.

The operation netted more than 100 people on drug-related charges including 14 patched members and 23 associates of the Bandidos, Rebels, Finks, Highway 61 and Lone Wolf outlaw motorcycle gangs.

The 20-month-long operation began under the leadership of Assistant Commissioner Graham  Rynders, who was removed last year from his post as the Gold Coast’s top cop amid criticism he was not tough enough on bikies.

Commissioner Rynders was described as the “driving force” of the highly-successful investigation by Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson.

Maxima has remained vague about how many taskforce officers assisted in Kilo Fraction, saying that presence varied at different stages of the operation. 

“We work closely with all police across the state,” Inspector Smith said.

“It’s very much a scalable response, we go up and down as they need help.”

He said additional financial and technological resources provided by Maxima had buoyed existing operations.

“We’ll fund travel or overtime ... it’s a team effort that gets results,” he said.

Inspector Smith said Maxima had succeeded in putting the heat on bikies, citing a 90 per cent rise in reported extortions. 

“That’s because the community now has the confidence to come forward about it,” he said.

“Only last night we received more complaints of extortion ... because people see now, this is the time they can come forward.

“The tide has turned.”

Based at Queensland Police Service headquarters on Roma Street in Brisbane’s CBD the taskforce takes in 100 police officers divided into three core teams – the Tactical Unit, Criminal Economy Unit and Criminal Investigation Unit.

The establishment of Taskforce Maxima coincided with the introduction of the Newman government’s controversial Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Bill 2013, dubbed the VLAD laws.

Maxima has charged 30 people under Section 60A of the Criminal Code, which bans three or more participants of a criminal organisation being knowingly present in a public place.

They include Steven Smith, 28, his brother Scott Conly, 36, step-brother Dan Whale, 26, brother-in-law Joshua Carew, 30, and a fifth man, 57-year-old Paul Lansdowne.

The men, dubbed the “Yandina Five”, were arrested after meeting at the Yandina Hotel on the Sunshine Coast.

They are joined by the so-called “Dayboro Three” – a 40-year-old Manly West woman and two men aged 60 and 54 – who were arrested allegedly wearing the colours of the Life and Death Outlaw Motorcycle Gang at the Dayboro Hotel.

However, few of those charged with a Section 60A offence face any other charges.