back to article Braking bad? Van with £112m worth of crystal meth in back hits cop car at police station

No one will ever say that police have an easy job, but sometimes, just sometimes, circumstances do half the work for them. Like in Sydney, Australia, where a van jammed with AU$200m (£112m) worth of crystal meth slammed into a cop car parked outside Eastwood Police Station at 10:30am local time yesterday. ABC News reports …

  1. Robert Masters

    What are you in for?

    Litterin'...

    1. Jens Goerke

      Re: What are you in for?

      ...and creatin' a nuisance.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: What are you in for?

        And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench.

        1. Jonathan Richards 1

          Kid... whadya get?

          ... talking about father-raping, stabbing, all kinds of groovy things, until a Sergeant came in, had a piece of paper in his hand...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never send the idiot of the family out on errands.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Holmes

      Never get drugs when you have to deliver them.... but that's part of being idiot, sure.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      ABC News reports that the Toyota HiAce

      HighAce surely in this case?

    3. Claverhouse Silver badge
      Happy

      The Art of Delegation

      Well, I dunno.

      Between bravely doing my own dirty work and the loss of a beloved idiot and 500lb of meth, I'd choose the latter risk.

    4. Archtech Silver badge

      Also...

      ... never sample your own goods before you have delivered them.

      It tends to make for over-optimism.

  3. NiceCuppaTea

    Makes you wonder what the depth of the gene pool is in this guys family....

    Given that the coppers didnt track him down for an hour you would have thought the first thing he would have done is hide the life sentence worth of drugs in the back of his van then get drunk and be "another piss head driver" better that and risk a fine / loss of license than whatever you get in AU for a shed load of crystal.

    1. Craig 2

      Found the pro drug trafficker!

      1. iron Silver badge

        Nah a pro would have hid the meth, burned the van & had an alibi that said he was somewhere else and his van was stolen.

        1. LDS Silver badge
          Devil

          The pro would have paid the cops....

          1. pig

            The Pro wouldn't crash the van in the first place.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Well, he did have an hour after pranging the plodmobile, maybe he picked up the junk after the prang? As stated, he's not the sharpest thing in the thing holder... Maybe he thought he would need some quick bail money?

  4. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    Facepalm

    UberDrugs - delivering to you.

    1. ukgnome

      Shirley this is more DeliverRoo

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes me feel old. Back in my day there was no app for getting drugs delivered, you had to ring a number and speak to someone before they'd come round.

      Er, or so I've been told. Ahem.

  5. Chris the bean counter

    Adding insult to injury

    You would have thought they would have let him off the "not giving particulars to police" charge

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      It's a charge which is easy to make stick and buys them time to ensure they don't cock up the major charge that they really want him for... wouldn't want to lose such a major drug bust on a technicality!

  6. silent_count

    It don't add up, guv

    Is it possible that whoever came up with the $200 mil figure was, erm, 'testing' some of the product?

    273kg being worth AU$200,000,000 works out to AU$733 per gram. That's roughly a week's wages for a low paid worker. For comparison, a cheap 24-pack of 375ml beer cans goes for $45 to $50. And gold is currently AU$65 per gram.

    Was this meth laced with truffles? Each gram comes with a complimentary TV to watch while taking the meth? Is this stuff really that expensive?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: It don't add up, guv

      Your talking about the pure unadulterated Meth. Once its been cut with god knows what and reduced in purity you will end up with a lot more than 273kg, at least double probably more (depending on how "generous" the supply chain is feeling).

      Plus for a lot of these calculations (not saying for this calculation specifically as i have no idea), they take the full sales chain in to account, so if the final price is $50/g, but that dealer bought it for $25/g from the wholesaler, who bought it for $10/g from the cartel, who bought it for $5/g from the manufacturer, then the supply chain calculation says each gram is worth $90.

      Finally, the actual figure was probably something like A$170 million, but they were told to round it up to the nearest 100....

    2. Pete 2

      Paying retail?

      Yes. A quick search "for academic reasons" honest! yields a street price of $400-$3000 per ounce. Converting roughly from obsolete units starts at about $16k per kilo. Or USD 4.4million for this haul. Even at top whack (12 times more expensive), it's nowhere near this estimate unless the Aussie dollar is having a really tough time.

      You have to wonder whether there will be people in the Sydney Constabulary asking their dealers for their money back.

    3. Orv Silver badge

      Re: It don't add up, guv

      Years of reading about pot busts in the US has convinced me that police multiply the street value of anything they seize by about 10. I don't know if this is to try to impress the public or to try to get a stiffer sentence. The piles of "drug cash" they lay out are often pretty funny, too, I've seen spreads that were impressive-looking until you noticed they were all $1s.

      1. overunder

        Re: It don't add up, guv

        Yeh the van could have been solid meth and that figure would still be a little... high.

        1. Jedit
          Pint

          "the van could have been solid meth"

          Sequel to Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke sounding lit already.

          (Beer, because it's better for you than meth and you can't make vehicles out of it.)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It don't add up, guv

        "Years of reading about pot busts in the US has convinced me that police multiply the street value of anything they seize by about 10."

        Same here in the UK. I have wondered in the past whether they are using some sort of "associated crime costs" to inflate the values, eg $currency_unit of drugs sold results in $currency_unit x 10 of other crimes, eg muggings, robberies, burglaries etc to pay for the drugs so taking a £1m worth of drugs of the streets cuts overall crime by £10m.

        (Yeah,I know, naive in the extreme, supply and demand etc. but this is the cops PR department we're talking about.)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It don't add up, guv

        Try $50 for 0.1 of a gram.

        I want to know where you get your drugs from

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It don't add up, guv

      500kg of chinese-sourced meth recovered in NZ a couple of years ago was valued at half a billion dollars - because it was assayed at something like 98% purity (by contrast "P labs" mostly turn out low grade junk and a lot of toxic byproducts/contaminants)

      The key factor _is_ purity. If it was 273kg of "pure" meth then it would easily be worth that much - it would turn into a few _tons_ of street product.

      One of the biggest dangers of the illegal drug market isn't so much the illegal drugs themselves as what they're diluted with - which can be anything from icing sugar to talc to rat poison to caustic soda (or worse). It's not as if there's regulatory oversight.

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    Meth or ice!

    There is a difference between the two, ice (crystal meth) is purer than methamphetamine powder, is usually smoked or injected and has a much stronger and more addictive effect the the powder which is commonly snorted.

    Since the '70s I have lost a couple of friends and acquaintances to this stuff and like most fans of anything, they were wont to discuss it every chance hey had.

    Thankfully I have never been an addictive type for anything.

    Regarding the apparent value, I have never known the cops to underestimate the value of anything that could make them look good.

    1. TsVk!

      Re: Meth or ice!

      That powder you speak of is probably amphetamine sulphate, aka speed. Not the same thing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the same guy that delivers my Amazon parcels.

  9. Tikimon Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Who ARE these people?

    No drugs, only a "crash into the cops" story. Was in downtown Atlanta one night, waiting for the light to change so I could cross. Barely any traffic, very quiet at that hour. A police car was in the left of two lanes waiting for the same light. A 1970's-era land ship rolls up... and sideswipes the whole right side of the police car. CRRRRUUUNCH! They came to rest jammed firmly against the cop car and lined up with the front like a drag race start. Siamese cars, almost.

    The cop turned on his lights, turned off his engine, got out with a clipboard. The two people in the demolition derby car just sat and stared ahead. I sat down to watch, but then every police car in Atlanta arrived lights and sirens going, parking every which way so I left before my car got blocked in.

    Maybe they were going to buy their ticket for Ark B? Can we hope?

    1. ma1010 Silver badge

      Re: Who ARE these people?

      I saw something like that once, albeit less dramatic. A cop saw a guy come out of this bar staggering all over the place, so he pulled into the parking lot. The guy got in a car, and the cop pulled behind him. Guy didn't see him, started up and backed up right into the cop car. Oops.

      Add "Damaging City Property" to the drunk driving charge.

      1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Who ARE these people?

        My uncle was driving his 1930's Lagonda down Barnet High Street, which is quite steep. Halfway down, a cop car pulled out of Barnet Underground Station in front of him, and drove down to the junction at the bottom, where it stopped at a red light. My uncle put his foot on the brake pedal, and was rewarded with a loud bang as the cable broke, rendering him brakeless. He demolished the cop car, and was done for "Assaulting a Police car".

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Who ARE these people?

        And "Extreme Criminal Stupidity".

  10. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    A Golden Opportunity

    The felon should be sentenced to twenty years in a medical research facility in order to identify his 'stupid' genes.

  11. adnim Silver badge

    I wonder...

    What would have happened if they just stopped and got out of the van, apologised, asked if everyone was ok and exchanged insurance details.

    Do not raise suspicion, first rule of criminality. Why would the police search the van unless they suspected something?

    Caveat: van has to be legal, driver must be legally allowed to drive the van, not be under the influence or have any previous and be able to act as if he had nothing to hide.

    Most people expect the expected and do what is expected. Even suspicious policemen can be manipulated.

    The drugs were still in the van an hour after the incident? ffs... Simon Tu is not a smart man.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I wonder...

      What would have happened if they just stopped and got out of the van, apologised, asked if everyone was ok and exchanged insurance details.

      I would believe the van still would have been searched. Seems to be pretty common lately. Cops pull you over, look around while talking and ask "what's in the package" (if one is visible) followed by "mind if I have a look?" Here in the States, they will also ask if you have any firearms in the car.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I wonder...

        @Mark 85 - "Here in the States, they will also ask if you have any firearms in the car."

        I didn't realise it was compulsory now.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: I wonder...

          That's a good joke to avoid when we're talking about Australia...

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: I wonder...

        "I think I smell weed... do you smell weed, Officer Pootle?"

      3. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: I wonder...

        I've been pulled over for various reasons by police in the UK, the US, Australia and several times in Morocco.

        None of them asked me what was in the car, asked to search it or asked whether I had a gun they could borrow.

        Maybe you're doing it wrong.

  12. Boo Radley

    The Math is WAY off.

    My friends pay $60 per eightball (one eighth of an ounce) so the police estimate of value is off by an order of magnitude. And that's calculated at the street value of the smallest purchase size. By the pound, or kilo, the total value would be even less. On Breaking Bad their meth sold for $40k per pound, here locally a pound is now less than $8k.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're parked!

    Cheech and Chong scenario

  14. Psmo Bronze badge
    Windows

    Et Tu Commentards?

    Half a page of comments, and not one comment with the guy's name?

    A bad dealer blames his Tu-s?

    Simon says "lose your stash!"

    I know it's the end of the day, but I expect better from my free entertainment.

  15. SImon Hobson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ha, I knew of an even easier "it's my lucky day" case.

    Local aviation business rents small plane to someone they don't know. They do all the usual stuff - check identity, check his licence, do a test flight to check that he can actually fly it, etc. It really is just like renting a car or van.

    When he is late back, they start phoning airfields - starting with the one he said he was going to. Nope, not been heard of there. Bournemouth had talked to the aircraft as it made it's way across to France - so that set alarm bells ringing and local police were informed.

    When he did return, a few hours later than he'd said he would, some young copper was there to ask about taking the plane abroad without permission, not having filed a flight plan, not having done the required customs stuff - and while we're chatting, I'll just have a look around. Now then, what's this white powder sir ? Yup, the guyidiot had done a cross channel drugs run - and was caught simply because he was late returning the hire plane. So a young copper's lucky day, a sizeable drugs haul dropped in his lap.

    This was what I found out later. As it happened, this event took place a couple fo days before the club had a flyout. I was "a bit puzzled" why they weren't using that plane, and why there was a copper hanging around it. Part of the flyout was to be a spot landing comp - draw a line across the runway with ... flour ... and see who can touch the wheels down the closest to the line. There are jokes about carryig bags of white powder - which didn't make sense until I later found out about the drugs bust.

  16. Mark 15

    ..and the award for best headline 2019 goes to ...

    The Reg headline writers are the best. Well done for keeping up this noble art and for raising a good deal more than a smile as I return to my desk after leave. This has to be one of the best. Thank you.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: ..and the award for best headline 2019 goes to ...

      It took me a while to spot it (spelling jokes and dyslexia aren't a great combo), but I got there eventually.

    2. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: ..and the award for best headline 2019 goes to ...

      Hey, thanks! I wrote the story and the headline. I'm the resident sub-editor but lucky enough to be allowed to do the funny stuff and a gaming column here between jobs.

      Appreciate ya.

  17. Mog_X

    Always remember the first rule....

    Never break more than one law at a time.

    1. Psmo Bronze badge
      Stop

      Re: Always remember the first rule....

      Or just brake before the first law, man.

  18. Daniel Hall

    It turns out

    A rather large number of you seem to know an awful lot about preparing, transporting and using illegal drugs.

    Just sayin'

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: It turns out

      @Daniel:

      Its a tech journal. Chemistry is a technology. Intoxicants are chemicals. Security analysis requires that one consider how to do bad things. IT security folks are technologists.

      Thus, all us techies get good at considering things like the icon.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "An hour later"... 10 mins to rouse someone from the canteen, 10 mins teabreak^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H write up report, 20 mins to review the CCTV footage...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is so improbable, I rather imagine that he's actually a snitch and this is the best way of parallel constructing how they knew about $200 million of meth.

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