"The War on Drugs". If you would like to comment on the below, email me here
Bali Nine - 17.02.2006
Mick Keelty continues to defend the Australian Federal Police's actions in the Bali Nine case*. But was the assistance provided legal?
In 1987 the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act was passed. Section 8 (1A) of this Act states that -
A request by a foreign country for assistance under this Act must be refused if it relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person charged with, or convicted of, an offence in respect of which the death penalty may be imposed in the foreign country, unless the Attorney-General is of the opinion, having regard to the special circumstances of the case, that the assistance requested should be granted.
The Australian Attorney General is Philip Ruddock. So unless the AFP broke the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Mr Ruddock must have been involved in the decision to let the Australians be prosecuted in Indonesia.
So are we just over keen to prove a good working relationship with the Indonesians? Was the sacrifice of these Australians part of a general campaign to increase relations between the two countries. Check the Attorney General's site and see if you can find any comments on the Bali Nine. I could not.
*Channel Nine "Sunday" transcript of Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty on the Australian Federal Police's role in alerting Indonesian authorities to the presence of alleged Australian drug exporters.
Execution of Van Nguyen - 2.12.2005
Executed 9am Brisbane time. Perhaps a no scoring day might have been in order, but I don't think it would have been very successful, as it'd be a little like a no insulin day for diabetics. A lot of sick people doesn't make for very good TV. Apparently the Singapore government and the Burmese dictatorship (SLORC, who derive 50% of their gross revenue from heroin) have close business ties. Steven Law, also known as Htun Myint Naing, the son of Lo Hsing Han (Burmese drug businessman, who was himself sentenced to death for treason back in 1976, but managed to get that overturned with a few judicious bribes), runs many businesses in Singapore. Read "The Guardian" article.
Neil Mitchell's Herald Sun article on Tuong Van Nguyen, the young Australian man awaiting execution in Singapore on heroin trafficking charges.
"WHILE Singapore has an unwavering policy of hanging drug mules such as Australia's Nguyen Tuong Van without mercy, it has for years been one of the strongest backers of Burma, the world's second-biggest producer of heroin." - check out this article by Michael McKenna to learn a bit more of the actual international narcotics industry.
How does gear get here?
You think that Australia's 200,000 or so heroin addicts have their habits supported by mules with half-kilos strapped to their bodies? Perhaps a little maths may help...
Junkies (regular users) -150,000 (assume other 50,000 are casual)
Shots per day - 1
Average size of shot - .25 grams
Purity - 40% (Assumes that heroin brought in is 100% pure - very unlikely, more likely it's much the same purity that hits the streets.
So 150,000 times 1 shot times 0.25 grams times 40% = 15,000 grams per day. 15 kilograms. 30 mules with half-kilo packs each day. If you assume that Australian Customs would notice anyone who makes more than 2 trips to Asia per year, then we need 5,475 people going twice a year to supply one small shot a day for 150,000 addicts. When you consider that I took six to eight shots a day,each half a gram, for many years, the figures blow out.
Perhaps - Heroin is imported in an organised fashion, with the complicit assistance of high-level corrupt officials, in bulk amounts. Mules are a marketing tool to keep the public thinking something is being done about the business.
Convicts were sent from England to Australia for the crime of stealing a loaf of bread or such. Nowadays they kill you for importing 800 grams of heroin. IN 200 years how will this look? As absurd as the English convict routine?