Eight people were arrested after police moved in on a drug ring allegedly selling cannabis to Aboriginal communities in the far north of South Australia.
Coober Pedy Police [on Friday 5 March 2010] pulled over a vehicle on the Stuart Highway in the Far North of South Australia and discovered the driver, a female from Carrington near Adelaide, with a quantity of cannibis inside the body of her Ford sedan vehicle.
The 40 year old woman was arrested by Coober Pedy Police for allegedly trafficking drugs between Adelaide and the Northern Territory.
It is estimated that approximately 2 kilos of the drugs were found inside her car during a routine highway operation that led to the discovery and eventual cracking of the drug syndicate allegedly taking advantage of the Mintabie town and availing themselves to the Anangu in closeby communities.
Allegedly the drugs originated in Adelaide and were distributed via Mintabie and possibly other places.
South Australian Police had begun Operation Madang in late 2008 and have gathered evidence that shows significant cannabis sales out of Mintabie to people in the central desert region.
Target areas were South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory including the APY Lands.
The eight indivuals were charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. Seven of the eight parties were released on bail.
It is believed that one of the suspects living out of Mintabie, worked as a courier for Frontier Services SA which operated between Mintabie and Marla.
Frontier Service had pulled their health service on the Mintabie residents a few years ago. It coincided with complaints that person or persons unknown were peddling cannibis from the town.
Port Augusta police in SA say there was an 18-month investigation until the Coober Pedy Police picked up the woman transporting the substance.
The innocent residents of Mintabie will be able to breathe easy knowing the ordeal is over, having been collectively persecuted by both media and politicians for deeds it seems may have already been known to the authorities.
Residents however are relieved now that the offenders have been aprehended.
Police say they have stopped the flow of cannabis into the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, however law abiding regional residents believe it would be even better to stop the heavy flow of cannibis coming out of Adelaide, before the excuse of drug peddling is used to flounder any more communities possibly needed for development.
With long standing public tension as to “where” the Anangu choose to shop, with APY Land stores previously not extending credit, it is believed that some Anangu who also shopped for reasonably priced food in Mintabie are now currently tranferring their key cards elsewhere.