Foreign Correspondent: August 20

GranMuleForeign Correspondent this week continues its investigation into the booming drug trade in China by reporter Stephen McDonell.

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.


  1. I might watch this if I can some other time of course. OK I saw the News tonight. Just when I thought I fled a couple of News services that thought it a good idea to advertise things on the News. I find it has infected the ABC.

    The silly thing is I would of been interested in watching Tom Meagher if the ABC had put together an ad before the News and played it. Because the strange thing is I’m usually watching the ads before the News. As I suspect are others.

    The best way to get me to not want to watch something is to do some stunt on the News. It tells me that I can’t completely trust that News service even if I like it. And it turns me off whatever is mentioned. Now maybe the other viewers are more susceptible. I don’t know. But I mention these things because I want to be convinced to watch television. Instead of convinced not to watch television.

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