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Australia a ‘perfect market’ for international drug traffickers: expert

Australian drug users are using more illicit substances than the rest of the world, according to experts. 

It comes as state governments, police and frontline workers struggle to combat the drug ice and deal with the enormous repercussions of its use.

But exactly why Australia is a hotspot for drug use remains ‘the million dollar question’, baffling authorities and experts alike.

This morning, Victoria Police found 3.5 kilograms (or $4 million worth) of ice after searching a car in Cairnlea. 

Two men – a Taiwanese and a Chinese national – were arrested. 

‘Yesterday $4 million of ice was found in a car, and it barely caused a stir,’ Neil Mitchell said. ‘That’s how far this problem has come.’

Dr John Coyne, director of the Border Security program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said Australia represented a perfect market for international drug traffickers. 

He said this was because Australians pay more for drugs than the rest of the world and use more drugs than drug users in other parts of the world.

Mr Coyne also pointed to huge pharmaceutical industries in Asia that produce the precursors to many illicit drugs, combined with Australia’s expanding trade.

‘In order to smuggle drugs somewhere, you have to have a legitimate trade flow. And it has to be large enough to hide your illegal commodity in.’

‘We also have a situation where we have expanding trade with China, in which those who want to smuggle this sort of stuff in our country…can hide it in amongst a whole heap of legitimate trade flows.’ 

Click play to hear Neil Mitchell’s interview with Dr John Coyne