Many of us make a fatal assumption when it comes to drug users.
Most people still assume that drug addiction is a problem mainly found with lowly-educated, marginalised people in Australia’s lower socio-economic suburbs.
However, a recent article written by Rachel Olding for the Sydney Morning Herald shows the opposite is true.
A growing cocaine drug trade is hiding in the underbelly of some of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs.
In her article, Olding reports of two 30 year old men who had been operating a syndicate that delivered drugs to thousands of people across the eastern suburbs and city. Equally astonishing is how invicible these men appaerantly felt running their operations.
Round-the-clock drug deliveries
Based in Homebush Andrew Hadi and Beau Greentree ran their cocaine operations from home. Buyers would text the men for “rock show tickets” or “beers” – code for a 0.5 gram bag of cocaine for $200.
The pair employed six drivers, each working 12-hour shifts to make deliveries to customers around the city. During a shift a driver would deliver up to 50 bags of cocaine each to customers. The drivers earned anywhere from $150 to $200 for every six bags delivered.
The drivers also did little to keep their illicit drug running around the city discreet. Bondi model and entrepreneur George Gerges was known to make deliveries using his black Lexus, while another man apparently used his father’s cab to make a delivery in Woollahra.
Following a driver’s arrest back in 2015, authorities began taking a closer look at Hadi and Greentree’s operations. They employed undercover officers to stage deals, started tapping phone calls and bugging homes, hoping to gather enough evidence against the syndicate.
While listening over a tapped phone conversation, Gerges was even found insisting that they were safe; confidently declaring that he personally ensured that any risk of getting caught was minimised. Right then, no more than 15 minutes after, police managed to conduct a synchronised raid where Gerges, who was carrying over a hundred bags of cocaine, eventually plead guilty.
Rising cocaine use in Sydney’s most affluent neighbourhoods
Authorities estimate that between May and September 2015 alone, the drivers involved in the arrest were supplying cocaine to nearly two thousand customers.
In her article Olding cites that cocaine use in New South Wales has been steadily rising at 22 per cent annually in the last five years.
Even more alarming are the statistics in the eastern suburbs, with Woollahra’s use and possession rate being 12 times higher than the state average. This puts the suburb second only to rates in the CBD.
You can read the original article here.
Are Your Employees Really Safe?
When you think of drug users, the image of a professional, gainfully employed adult isn’t what usually comes to mind.
But given the statistics of where most of the cocaine in the state is used, we have to rethink that image. It is obvious that cocaine use is prevalent and increasing among affluent white-collar professionals.
This was further illustrated in the highly publicised arrest of Lisa Munro, the solicitor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, who pleaded guilty to drug possession earlier this year.
Given the prevalence of drug use today, you really cannot be certain just how many of your own employees or colleagues could be suffering from addiction and drug dependency.
It’s a very real problem that requires tangible intervention. If you’re concerned about this problem and want to do something about it, give us a call today.