The epic size and industrial scale of the new Asian drug supply is staggering. Intercepts of the methamphetamine Ice or the ingredients necessary for its manufacture are toted up in tonnages and mega litres. But given authorities only manage to uncover a fraction of the trade that begins in Myanmar, pours into China and flows on to places like Australia, then a deadly dangerous drug is in overwhelming flood.
Foreign Correspondent concludes its investigation of The Other China Boom, tracing a disturbing trail all the way to Australia’s front door.
We’ve secured unprecedented access to China’s drug cops and at a key checkpoint near the Myanmar/China border they’re in full flight. Pulling over cars and buses targeting suspicious characters and unlikely drug mules alike.
On one tour bus that’s just crossed in from what we used to call Burma, the team clambers aboard checking bags, compartments and asking rapid-fire questions. Soon a woman with a young child emerges with the officers. She’s carrying a plastic shopping bag containing a handful of condoms filled with Ice – the super-charged methamphetamine that’s infiltrating China’s party scene and that’s being shipped out to more lucrative international destinations like Australia.
Another bus arrives and a young man is identified, questioned and escorted to a scanner that soon reveals he’s carrying condoms of ice internally. Another relatively small haul in the scheme of things, but these are minor cogs in a mega-industrial complex.
The Ice storm has become such a problem that the Australian Federal Police and China’s Drug enforcement agencies have forged a joint-venture to try to snare culprits and their contraband at the supply and demand side. This year alone Australian authorities have nabbed five hauls of methamphetamines or the pre-cursor chemicals to make them on their way to Australian manufacturers, dealers and users.
It’s a drugs boom-time that’s exploded out of a newly relaxed Myanmar, a ravenous developing Chinese drug culture and the super-profits that come from deliveries to markets in developed economies.
China Correspondent Stephen McDonell concludes our eye-opening expose of the new drugs boom. Don’t miss it.
8pm Tuesday ABC1.