Half a billion of Ecstasy

August 9th, 2008 at 10:02 am by David Farrar

An amazing drugs bust in Australia – the world’s largest ever bust of Ecstasy or E – 4.4 tonnes worth over NZ$500 million. They were transported in 3,000 tins of tomatos.

I wonder what has been our biggest bust in NZ?

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17 Responses to “Half a billion of Ecstasy”

  1. Lipper (2,207 comments) says:

    Imagine how happy, and loving the Police became after making this Bust!

    Would love to have seen their Cherubic faces!

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  2. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Good point. 4.4 tonnes reported – possibly 5 tonnes seized?

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  3. Chicken Little (793 comments) says:

    If these guys have got the balls to do a shipment this size how many did they get away with before?

    Where did the $9 million paid for these drugs come from?

    You can see why people try smuggling this stuff when the profits are so huge. Even wholesaling it they probably would have made a $100 – $150 million.

    Also you must get past a certain point and the weight begins to mean nothing – ie 1 ton vs 4 ton = not much difference in prison sentence if snapped.

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  4. infused (652 comments) says:

    Ah E… the best drug in the world.

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  5. The Drefetr (7 comments) says:

    I’ve got to wonder the actual MDMA content of the shipment seized.

    We know the weight of the pills. (Including packaging?)

    Given the illegal nature of the drug market, adulteration of ecstasy tablets is common. What about the binders used in the creation of the pills? Are they included in the final estimate of the weight?

    The quote of 4.4 tonnes shouldn’t be taken literally.

    Given the dosage of MDMA being in the realms of 100mg to 200mg (on average) I question how likely it is that 20 to 40 million doses were seized.

    Given the population of Australia is only around 21 million, that’s a dose per person per year.

    I smell sensationalism at work.

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  6. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Just maybe some of the consignment was for export?

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  7. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    “Just maybe some of the consignment was for export?”

    I seem to recall on last nights news they said that Aussie was a stop over, it was then to move through NZ onto South America. As to why South America needs to import drugs I do not know.

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Hagues, yes the next stop for the consignment was NZ, I have heard wispers that liarbour had order a few tins for some time in September. Sources are saying the party might need an emotional lift later in the year, for some reason :-)

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  9. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    “I wonder what has been our biggest drugs bust in NZ?”

    I expect every small. The government is just not interested in stopping the flow of harmful goods into the country.

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  10. The Drefetr (7 comments) says:

    MDMA is hardly what I’d call a harmful good.

    It seems very benign when compared to other drugs as alcohol and nicotine.

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  11. johnjacobjackson (1 comment) says:

    pushmepullu has a short memory. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=10523600

    $135m drug bust: six stand trial
    5:00AM Saturday July 26, 2008
    By Andrew Koubaridis

    * Three arrested in meth lab raid
    * Police check ‘P’ incident

    New Zealand’s largest drugs bust foiled a plot to flood the country with enough methamphetamine to supply a hit for every person in Auckland.

    Six men are accused of executing an elaborate plan to smuggle $135 million worth of drugs into the country in plastic boxes secreted in tins of green paint.

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  12. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    As The Drefetr says, E is a drug that is very low on the scale of harm. It should be decriminalised. I’d rather see 1000 people on E than one person on P.

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  13. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Apparently the original use was as a truth drug. Ze Germans kind of tumbled on the pre-cursor.

    Apparently not benign as some believe, as it strips the protective neurone covers over time.

    Basically you fry your brain. Ouch!

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  14. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Glutaeus… thats what you get for listening to war on drugs bullshit propaganda.

    The scientists who did the MDMA fries your brains test came otu about 3 years ago and admitted that the tests were flawed, as it wasn’t MDMA they were testing, but Meth (i.e. P), so far there have been NO tests that prove that MDMA “fries your brain”.

    The only negative effects from MDMA are
    – potential to overheat
    – potential for depression if MDMA is regularily used (i.e. seratonin syndrome) to excess

    MDMA is by and large a safe substance and is safer than BZP, safer than alcohol and there is no reason for it to be illegal. The thing that makes it dangerous is criminalising it, because then you have no idea what shit the pills are cut with.

    MDMA shouldn’t be decriminalised like Toad suggests (as this is just another excuse for the government to get their sticky fingers on it) it should be legal, end of story. Just like BZP should be… only with MDMA you wouldn’t see anyone going near BZP.

    Haugues also shows ignorance on drugs with the “as to why south america would want to import drugs I don’t know” – quick answer: Cocaine is not the same as MDMA…. quite why a substance that is manufacturered in europe would need to go to South America via Australia though is beyond me.

    Wouldn’t be suprised if a decent amount of this goes missing via the cops however… large amounts of drugs like this a re a recipe for corrupting police forces…

    I’d say a fair bit would be destined for NZ… whats teh bet street prices around New Years increase significantly – or ESR finds a larger amount of pills sold as E really just containing BZP or MDA.

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  15. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    I’d rather be in a room with 100 people on E than 100 drunk Kiwis.

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  16. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Hi Clint, what Nationality is preferred for the E group?

    Apologies if my understanding is out of date.

    This is on a UK drug aware website. However it is Government controlled, so maybe no the full picture!

    The risks:

    Physical side effects can develop that include: dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, tightening of the jaw muscles, raised body temperature and the heart beats faster.
    Short-term effects of use can include anxiety, panic attacks, confused episodes and paranoid or psychotic states.
    There’s no way of telling what’s in an E until you’ve swallowed it. So, there may be negative side effects from other ingredients in the tablet.
    E’s can make users feel a bit down after use.
    There’ve been over 200 ecstasy-related deaths in the UK since 1996. Ecstasy use is the cause of death in many of the cases but there have been some involving other substances sold as Ecstasy e.g. PMA.
    Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere increases the chances of overheating and dehydration. Take regular breaks from the dance floor to cool down.
    And watch out for your mates – sometimes they mightn’t realise they’re in danger of overheating or getting dehydrated.
    Be careful with fluids though, as drinking too much can also be dangerous or even fatal. Ecstasy can cause the body to release a hormone which prevents the production of urine. Drink too quickly and it interferes with your body’s salt balance, which can be as deadly as not drinking enough water. Reduce the risks by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.
    Using Ecstasy has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems. Anyone using too much can become paranoid and depressed.
    Some long-term users report getting colds, flu and sore throats more often. This may be attributed to staying awake for 24 hours, which puts your immune system under pressure.
    There’s research to suggest that the exhaustion and dehydration associated with Ecstasy can activate urine infections like cystitis in women.
    Anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction to the drug.

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  17. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “Physical side effects can develop that include: dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, tightening of the jaw muscles, raised body temperature and the heart beats faster.”

    Correct, nothing scary there, providing you are hydrated and don’t have CNS problems

    “Short-term effects of use can include anxiety, panic attacks, confused episodes and paranoid or psychotic states.”

    Very unlikely. Usually only if a pre existing condition.. or VERY heavy use. Me thinks they are getting mixed up with MDMA and Meth again.

    “There’s no way of telling what’s in an E until you’ve swallowed it. ”

    Thats a harm of prohibition, not of the subtance itself. I.e. the only reason you don’t know whats in it is because its illegal, rather than the other way around.

    “There’ve been over 200 ecstasy-related deaths in the UK since 1996.”

    And there have been millions of causes of death where the person had drunk Dihydrogen Monoxide prior to expiring as well. Correlation does not equal cause.

    “Ecstasy use is the cause of death in many of the cases but there have been some involving other substances sold as Ecstasy e.g. PMA.”

    They are being very flexible with the facts in that statement. PMA = dodgy as fuck, and again, a result of prohibition.

    “E’s can make users feel a bit down after use.”

    ITs called a comedown. Usually fixed with a bit of 5htp

    “Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere increases the chances of overheating and dehydration. Take regular breaks from the dance floor to cool down.
    And watch out for your mates – sometimes they mightn’t realise they’re in danger of overheating or getting dehydrated.
    Be careful with fluids though, as drinking too much can also be dangerous or even fatal. Ecstasy can cause the body to release a hormone which prevents the production of urine. Drink too quickly and it interferes with your body’s salt balance, which can be as deadly as not drinking enough water. Reduce the risks by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.”

    Fair enough.

    “Some long-term users report getting colds, flu and sore throats more often. This may be attributed to staying awake for 24 hours, which puts your immune system under pressure.”

    Again, fair enough

    Hardly scary stuff though is it. Risk of getting sick because you are staying up all night.. about the saem as drinking or having a load of red bull. I know I’ve had times where I’ve gone out a few times in a week, had way too much beer + energy drinks and caught a cold afterwards.

    Hardly the harbinger of doom that some peopel seem to think it is.

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