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Unraveling the Organized Trade, Price-Fixing, and Surprising Demand in Australia

In an unprecedented episode of ABC’s Four Corners, a group of anonymous cocaine dealers step forward, determined to shed light on their criminal activities and challenge public perceptions about the drug trade. Cloaked in secrecy with ski masks, balaclavas, and even a Mexican wrestling mask, these individuals present themselves as legitimate businessmen, catering to a demand that transcends societal boundaries, including influential public figures.

One man, donning a khaki jacket, mirrored sunglasses, and rubber gloves, boldly claims that drug use permeates various echelons of society. He recounts a shocking anecdote about a judge allegedly indulging in cocaine “with a glass of single malt,” emphasizing the pervasive nature of the drug’s allure. In his view, he doesn’t consider himself a brazen outlaw taunting law enforcement but rather conducts his business discreetly through personal interactions, like conversations over a cup of coffee.

Another participant reveals the appeal of the drug trade as a means to escape poverty and elevate one’s circumstances. For those who come from humble beginnings, becoming a successful cocaine dealer serves as a testament to their resilience and ability to transform their lives. “It’s an ego thing: when you come from nothing, it’s about making something,” he asserts.

The upcoming program promises to delve into the intricate facets of the illegal drug trade, providing a glimpse into the experiences of those involved in smuggling illicit substances into and within Australia. From low-level street dealers to high-ranking cartel members breaking their code of silence, the show aims to expose the inner workings of the highly organized and price-fixing cocaine market.

Accompanying the article is a poll asking readers whether it is acceptable for the ABC to provide a platform for cocaine dealers. Surprisingly, the majority of respondents have voted in favor of granting these individuals a voice.

Australia grapples with one of the highest per capita rates of cocaine use globally, despite the exorbitant prices individuals pay, sometimes exceeding $400 per gram. Among Australian cities, Sydney stands out with the highest rates of cocaine consumption. While recent wastewater analysis suggests a decline in cocaine use compared to the previous year until August 2022, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) asserts that this reduction primarily stems from law enforcement seizures and detections rather than a decrease in demand.

In March 2023, the ACIC emphasized that communities bear the heavy toll of drug use, experiencing the detrimental impacts of violence, road accidents, property crimes, illness, injuries, and even fatalities associated with drug abuse. Furthermore, the ACIC highlights the significant harm caused by organized crime, with illicit drugs playing a substantial role in its proliferation.

The episode of Four Corners will undoubtedly spark intense debate and scrutiny surrounding the decision to amplify the voices of cocaine dealers, as society grapples with the complex web of motivations and repercussions surrounding the illicit drug trade.