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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mexican Cartels are Increasingly Targeting Australia's Meth Market

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Drug cartels from Mexico, the US, and Canada have overtaken rivals in Southeast Asia to become Australia’s top suppliers of methamphetamine, police said, warning that the Mexican traffickers are “increasingly targeting” the country.

The Australian Federal Police and overseas authorities seized 23.6 tons of North American-produced meth bound for Australia in the 2022-23 financial year, the AFP said in a statement last week.

Product from Mexico, the United States, and Canada now make up at least 70% of the meth, or as it is more commonly known in that region, ICE, found in Australia, police have estimated. 

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian meth fell to less than 15% of seizures of the drug. Police did not specify the exact amount originating from Mexico but warned: “Mexican cartels (are) increasingly targeting Australia.”

The Aussie-Cartel, made of outlaw bikies was largely broken up following overseas arrests and extraditions.

Australia remains “an enticing market for organized crime groups who exploit our people to derive large profits,” police commander Jared Taggart said in the statement.

While cannabis remains the most common illegal drug consumed in the country by a large margin, the use of meth and amphetamine, another nerve stimulant, has risen among younger drug users, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. A wastewater detection program led by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission projected meth or ice to be Australia’s second most used drug.

The Shift from Asian Meth

For years, most meth in the region has come from manufacturers in the Golden Triangle, a remote jungle zone where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Narco-state traffickers had shuttled opium crops in exchange for assistance from Western countries. 

Yet they transitioned into the meth trade, pressing Yaba pills (a mix of meth and caffeine) to distribute locally and exported meth overseas.

The meth was trafficked to other major economies in the region, such as Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, where police have busted a constant stream of meth smuggled into the country in increasingly creative ways.

In 2022, authorities stopped 1.8 tons of liquid meth masquerading as coconut water in Hong Kong before it reached Australia. The following year, police intercepted 1.1 tons of meth mixed with shampoo products.

Taggart attributed the increase in Mexican imports to the cartels’ strength in covering their tracks, as well as them undercutting their rivals on price.

A kilo of wholesale meth from Mexico can cost as little as AUD$1,000 ($650 USD), less than a third of the price of Myanmar-made meth, according to Australian police.

Tse Li Chop, Asia's "El Chapo" was recently extradited to Australia.

“Additionally, the AFP and our global partners have arrested and prosecuted key members of a significant Asian organized crime syndicate in October 2020 and January 2021,” he said, referring to Sam Gor, a group that dominates the Asia-Pacific drug trade.

Last year, the Australian Capital Territory decriminalized possession of small amounts of hard drugs, meaning people caught with the substances face fines and counseling rather than jail terms, while Queensland introduced a three-strike system.

“These states have effectively put up the ‘Open for Business’ sign to the criminal cartels in relation to the drug market,” he said.

Criminologist John Fitzgerald from the University of Melbourne said the surge may have been caused by a drug dump, with supplies from North American drug cartels to Europe hamstrung by Russia’s war in Ukraine and other factors.

“Mexican meth might just be getting dumped here because of changes in the other markets,” he said.

New Zealand

Last year, New Zealand police seized the country’s biggest-ever meth haul – worth $150 million – hidden in jugs of maple syrup from Canada. They were bound for New Zealand, Australia, and the surrounding Pacific region, police said.

But Southeast Asian suppliers could bounce back from their loss of market share, according to Masood Karimipour, regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

“Our analysis shows the overall meth supply from the Golden Triangle has not slowed down, and Australia will continue to be one of the major destinations for organized crime groups operating in Asia,” he said. “These groups have shown a strong ability to adapt and diversify, and we are currently seeing very low prices in some parts of the region.”

Recent Seizures

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  1. Does anybody know from where the Australian Pettingil family was getting meth in the 80s?

    1. I don't think CDS knew about meth in the 80s.

    2. 232 triads most probably

    3. They got theirs from the bikies and the hammer from the triads
      I grew up with them

    4. @05:58 was the "old meth" new, same, or different from the "super meth/new meth/'pure meth'"?

      Was it like crank or speed, or d-methamphetamine. or a stereo + isomer equal mix of levo and dextro methamphetamine hydrochloride salts?

    5. Hells Angels used to have a lock on it in Vancouver, British Colombia Canada 🍁

    6. Back in the 80s the Hells angels in Australia had access to the precursors for P2P meth due to lax rules around industrial chemicals. It’s pretty well established that the American chapters taught them how to cook in return for supplies. That’s almost certainly where Dennis Allen was getting his whack from. The Petingil family were notorious Melbourne smack dealers but Dennis was a lover of the go fast.

    7. They made it themselves .

    8. 504 sinaloa an michoacanos been working whit meth since wy back before it was speed bricks of speed they say it was stronger an powder texture but it was not well known as it is today bit if they send to Australia in the 80s that idont know

    9. I know this, he was getting it from the hells angels. Before he killed their leader and dumped it in a barrel into the Yarra. You know he bought every house in the street and joined them together so if they had warrant for one property he would move shit to the next. And if they got warrants for the whole street he had a fire burning 24/7 in one house so he could burn evidence. He had hidden weapons every 100mts where he traveled and wore half a million dollars of chains in the 70’s. They were the worst crime family were everyone was involved. Even feeding people to dogs on meth.

  2. Lizard is KING..


  3. This started since 2019 isn’t anything new …

  4. Mexican cartels have a big advantage because of a large corrupt government officials on all levels from the top down!!🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽

  5. What seemed to have happened was that both Afghan opium and synthetic opioids hit the market and suddenly the warlords in the Golden Triangle couldn't even sell heroin to addicts anymore, but Myanmar was still the midpoint between major sources of ephedra and these industrial scale controlled chemical producers in Western China, so the militias in Myanmar rapily turned to synthetic drug production using the same distribution networks. Then there was a military coup, and the COVID border lockdowns, making meth labs in Myanmar suddenly very risky and impractical, so much of the lab activity moved into Cambodia. But the distribution channels to Australia still seem to run through Thailand and Malaysia and so much of this is microtrafficking. Then I guess CDS loads a metric ton of the stuff on a boat. Hopefully less wreckage in Southeast Asia anyway.

    1. That stacks up, mate

    2. 7:09 Absolutely, the Narcotopia book greatly outlines the history and transition from heroin to meth. The "China White" was being surpassed by Northern Alliance and Mexican opium. There was also a lot of pressure on the area and governments/juntas to stop growing opium, they did in exchange for the promise of funds/medicine/schools/etc.

    3. Poppy growing declined big time in Afghanistan. Same for the meth cooking. The we cut your head off approach seems to be working with the religious people.

    4. Oh it's going to get bloody mate.
      I once wanted to bring a Dingo to the USA.

    5. A bloody dingo ate my baby 👼

    6. So any Aussie s in here.
      I understand some of us in America, you the F word in every sentence, supposed to be some mancho thing.
      But in Australia they use the word "Bloody Mate", in every sentence they speak. I'm I bloody correct bloody mate?

  6. A kilo of wholesale meth from Mexico can cost as little as AUD$1,000 ($650 USD)….
    A few days ago i read on BB or somewhere else, in an interview with an sinaloa associated cook, that the cost of making 1kg meth is about 1000USD.
    I cant believe they sell it in Australia wholesale for 1000USD. You have huge transportation costs and not forget the bribes.

    1. Try $300 even less to cook

    2. It sells $30,000 to $50,000 a kilogram here in Sydney. $400 a gram. And the demand is huge, another thing I used to be into heroin (user) for about 10years. I’ve never seen fentanyl here for sale. I’m sure it’s about but it’s not prevalent if I’ve never seen it. I’ve seen patches from the doctor. And they were $400 a patch.

  7. Australian market in the 80s was amphetamine sulphate


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