A CHILDERS tattoo parlour has become a target in the crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs, with raids at the business and a private residence that detectives say uncovered steroids, ecstasy, synthetic amphetamine and $11,000 cash.
Savage Tattoo artist Jim Savage has been charged with importing a controlled substance and will appear before a court, after detectives from the state Task Force Maxima searched the Churchill St business and Apple Tree Creek home on Monday.
Task Force Maxima was established to disrupt, dismantle and eliminate criminal motorcycle gangs late last year, and has been in the Bundaberg region the past two days targeting the drug distribution networks of these gangs and also illegal activity within the tattoo industry.
"We received information that illegal drugs were being distributed from the shop and by the occupants of that business," Task Force Maxima Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said.
Nothing was discovered at the business. However, when Mr Savage's Gentle Annie Rd property was searched, it was there the cash, 54g of white powder, 9.5g of synthetic miarjuana, 54g of pink steroids and 60 tablets of tamoxifin, which blocks the activity of estrogen in the breast, were allegedly found.
Both Mr Savage, and his partner and parlour owner, Grace Crossland, were reportedly found to be operating the parlour without a licence.
Det Insp Smith said the Queensland Tattoo Parlours Act 2013 was passed earlier this year in an effort to "drive undesirables out of the industry", which meant owners of a tattoo parlour must have a licence to operate.
"All artists and their employees must have their own licence as well," he said.
Late last year The NewsMail spoke to Ms Crossland, who said the introduction of a licensing regime for tattoo parlours and artists would "push the tattoo industry underground and encourage backyard jobs".
Det Insp Smith said at the time of the raid, both Ms Crossland and Mr Savage had not been in possession of the required licences, nor was there any evidence to suggest that they had applied for one.
He said the couple would not face legal punishment as the legislation only came into effect yesterday - the day after the business was raided.
"(People) can be charged for operating without a licence and the business can be closed," he said.
But Ms Crossland told the NewsMail yesterday that she had applied for the licence "prior to the due date" of June 30, and the tattoo parlour was still operating.
An Office of Fair Trading spokesman said the office could not disclose whether or not a person had applied for a licence because of privacy laws.