Drug dealers on the dark web are targeting party-hard teenagers who have arrived on the Gold Coast in their thousands to kick off three weeks of schoolies’ celebrations.
Australian Federal Police have warned that online dealers are trying to sell party packs of illegal drugs to teens – and it could put them in jail…or hospital.
Illicit substances alleged to be anything from cocaine to Xanax or MDMA are being openly sold at discounted prices for larger orders for the teens to stock up.
The drugs – which police warn could be tainted with toxic chemicals – are even available by express post straight to their door.
Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews said the online marketplaces were now being scrutinised by detectives – and insisted the dark web was not anonymous.
Thousands of Year 12 students, like those seen here, have hit Queensland’s Gold Coast for three weeks of schoolies’ celebrations
‘With illicit drugs more widely available on the dark web than ever before, we need to make sure we’re protecting our young people from the drug smugglers and dealers who would put them in harm’s way for a quick profit,’ she said.
‘Some people may think their activities are anonymous, or that it won’t happen to them – but so did everyone else now sitting in Arthur Gorrie Correctional before they saw the flashing red and blue and got a knock on the front door.’
Queensland Police said the first night of partying went off without any major incident.
Officers made 13 arrests, with just two male schoolies booked for public nuisance and 11 non-schoolies arrested for street offences including drunkenness.
The end of school celebrations (pictured) began on Saturday – but almost didn’t go ahead for the second year in a row after Covid-19 cases popped up in the Sunshine State last week
Queensland Police said the first night of partying went off without any major incident (pictured, schoolies pose happily with local officers on the Gold Coast)
Police made 13 arrests but almost all were non-schoolies who were arrested on public nuisance charges (pictured, teenage boys get ready for another big night)
‘Police were pleased with the overall behaviour of schoolies for the first official night,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday.
The end of school celebrations began on Saturday – but almost didn’t go ahead for the second year in a row after Covid-19 cases popped up in the Sunshine State last week.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk only gave the green light for festivities on Thursday – a relief to thousands of Year 12 students that spent most of the year in and out of lockdowns and under Covid restrictions.
Many were seen unloading their luggage outside their accommodation in Surfers Paradise on Saturday morning before they hit the shops to stock up on supplies.
As the sun went down the celebrations kicked off with dozens of teens seen enjoying their new-found freedom.
Love is in the air: A young couple were seen in a passionate embrace after the sun went down on the Gold Coast
Checking in with mum? A group of blonde girls were seen enjoying the festivities on the first night of the celebration
Out on the town: A pair of girls were all smiles as they headed to the festivities on Saturday night
Getting the best view: This woman used a man as a prop to enjoy the festivities on the beach on Saturday night
Ready to let loose: Security were out in force on Saturday for the start of Schoolies on the Gold Coast
Walking is for suckers: This woman was very amused as she used a friend to push her around in a trolley at Surfers Paradise
Everyone appeared in high spirits with one girl seen enjoying a ride in a trolley and another having fun on a friend’s shoulders.
A handful of teens were seen chatting to police with some reciving on the spot fines.
Like so many milestones missed for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic, schoolies was very close to being added to the list.
Freedom! Groups of teens celebrated the first night of festivities on Saturday
Style icon: A barefoot bloke with a mullet sported a very unique outfit. Everyone appeared in high spirits as the festivities kicked off
Livin la vida loca: The teens wore an array of different ensembles, including bikini tops and sombreros
Britney would be proud: These girls chose to dress in a school uniform with dark boots
Order up: After a night of dancing a group of girls were seen ordering some delicious food
The state recorded two new mystery infections last week but after 24 hours with no new infections on Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk gave Schoolies the go-ahead.
In preparation for the influx of more than 20,000 teenagers at Surfers Paradise, police have set up a ‘robust’ system to ensure all are kept safe.
Pop up tents will be set up each night to help any Schoolies revellers that may require medical assistance.
Too much fun? A young girl is seen sitting on the side of a road as her friends chat to her
Not a fine time: Queensland Police were seen issuing some revellers on the spot fines
Party time: Scores of eager party goers have wasted no time getting into the swing of Schoolies
Dressed to impress: These two ladies opted for the same attire at Schoolies on Saturday night
Ready to party: Thousands of graduating students have descended onto the Gold Coast for a week of Schoolies celebrations
Extra police officers will also be called in to patrol the streets and will this year have metal detectors to crack down on anyone carrying knives.
Acting Chief Superintendent Rhy Wildman said this year would mark the first time police will be carrying out operations in search for weapons or knives without needing to have any suspicion a person is carrying them.
‘We will have an enforcement strategy for those coming in – there’ll be policing around venues, hotels and intercepts of vehicles,’ he said.
‘Our operations are all about making sure children will be looked after as best as possible.’
The Red Frogs volunteers will also be out in full force, offering lollies and pancakes to those who may have woken up with a sore head.
Meanwhile over in Western Australia, thousands are preparing for another Schoolies week which will kick off on Monday.
Bye mum: More than 20,000 teenagers are expected to swarm the streets of Surfers Paradise this week
All stocked up: Many Schoolies were already seen stocking up on food and drinks for the week ahead
Suns out: More than 20,000 teenagers have flocked to Surfers Paradise to celebrate the end of exams
Time warp? A group of friends are seen wearing co-ordinated outfits complete with matching hairstyles
Get the party started already: A group of Schoolies participants are seen waiting outside their hotel on Saturday in the Gold Coast
Smart move: One reveller is seen carrying a pack of water bottles as the celebrations kick off on Saturday
Ready for fun: Teens are seen partying from their hotel balconies in preparation for wild Schoolies celebrations ahead
Giving a helping hand: Many were seen eagerly wheeling in their luggage to their hotel rooms for a week of Schoolies
Snacks sorted: The announcement Schoolies would go ahead was a relief for many who spent the year under strict Covid restrictions
A controversial ban on bringing bags into the event sparked outrage among many with some labelling it ‘sexist’.
While the ban would have affected both boys and girls, opponents say it was far more discriminatory against girls, who often have more items to carry and fewer pockets to carry them in.
An online petition calling for its removal quickly gained pace but the ban has since been removed.
Checking out the scene: The Red Frogs volunteers will also be out in full force, offering lollies and pancakes to revellers who may have partied too hard
La fiesta: One girl brought along a sombrero as she celebrates the end of high school
The ban was introduced by Leavers WA, a joint venture between the state government and police to minimise harm to school leavers during the sometimes raucous celebrations.
The organisation said the move was to prevent attendants bringing in alcohol or other substances but they have since said bags no larger than A5 will be permitted.
Yeah the boys: A group of mates pose for the camera as they gear up for a week of celebrations
Sorted for the week: A group of girls got their groceries sorted before the partying begun
A huge crowd of Schoolies celebrators are seen waiting in a hotel lobby
Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast will be overrun with more than 20,000 Schoolies this week
High school leavers said goodbye to their parents as they checked into their accommodation
Many were were stocking up on supplies ahead of the festivities
Ready for fun in the sun! A group of girls were seen enjoying the start of their summer break