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Saturday July 20, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

More drugs intercepted following a record $144m cocaine seizure. PlanetSKI looks at the drugs problems in Australian resorts.



Last week police seized a huge cache of cocaine en route to Australian ski resorts.

This week $1M worth of liquid meth was intercepted in Sydney, disguised and carried in snow globes.

Check out our latest story here:

It's not a new problem.

Police have made efforts to crack down on drugs in Australian ski resorts for some years.

Though last season, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research showed a rise in drug possession and use in the Snowy Monaro area, pointing to Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass.

It's largely MDMA and marijuana, with crystal meth and cocaine, that circulate in ski areas.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper spoke to a local lift worker about his side work of selling drugs.

He claimed it to be the cost of skiing in Australia, a hard-partying culture and the high cost of living in a holiday town that meant many like him were small-scale dealers in the resorts.

Last winter a record number of police were on duty in New South Wales resorts to stamp out the increasing drug trade.

We wrote about it here:
Read on below for the country's biggest haul of cocaine intercepted in a novel way, some of which was headed for ski resorts.

Australian Border Force video from recent drugs bust of liquid meth in snow globes:

For current snow and weather news in Australia's ski resorts, see here:

The Australian Border Force intercepted 384 kilograms of cocaine, part of which was heading to a group of Australian ski resorts according to the police.

The quantity has a street value of $144 Australian dollars - around £90.25m.

The drugs were hidden in an excavator. 

The cache was packed into 384 1-kilogram parcels and destined for NSW ski resorts Thredbo and Perisher.

The drugs were hidden in the hollow hydraulic lifting arm of the excavator. © Australian Border ForcThe drugs were hidden in the hollow hydraulic lifting arm of the excavator. © Australian Border Force


We reported on it in News in Brief on Friday 19th, ahead of this wider and more in-depth article.

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reveal that the Snowy Mountains area sees a sharp rise in drugs offences during the winter months.

  •  7 incidents in cocaine possession and use during the winter of 2018/19 and none at any other time of the year.
  •  30 marijuana possession and use incidents in the winter months compared to 18 in the off season.
  • 10 ecstasy possession/use incidents during the ski season compared to zero for the rest of the year.
Perisher, New South WalesPerisher, New South Wales




The fact that the Australian resorts have a drugs problem is not new and has been widely reported.

However many ski resorts across the world face similar issues.

"It cannot be denied that some people take drugs in Perisher and other resorts in the area," said a former ski instructor in the area to PlanetSKI.

The instructor prefered to remain anonymous.

"But it is not worse than other areas I have taught in across the world."

"Of course numbers of drug incidents go up in the winter months - it is when the ski resorts are at their busiest with hundreds of extra seasonal workers and tens of thousands more visitors."

"Many of the times in Australia it is not the workers and those who live in the area, but rather people from out of town that come in from say Sydney for the weekend."

The resorts made the headlines last winter after a vicious assault by a British ski instructor, Matthew James Williams, who raped a woman and badly beat up her boyfriend.

He was high on drugs at the time.

This year he pleaded guilty to charges.

He followed the woman and man after they left a pub in Jindabyne at night.

He then attacked them.

Police thought there had been a number of attackers due to the severity of the injuries.

The ski instructor, who worked in Perisher, was arrested after his DNA and watch were found at the scene.

Mr Williams pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault, inflicting actual bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse with another, and possessing a prohibited drug.

Jindabyne, AustraliaJindabyne, Australia












In Jindabyne, the resort where many people stay to access Perisher and Thredbo, there is extra security at the weekend.

When PlanetSKI was there last winter some of the bars had airport style-security equipment as they search for weapons and for drugs.

This was aimed at those visiting for the weekend, not specifically locals.

Ten police officers are seconded from across New South Wales for the winter season.

Police stations at Thredbo and Perisher Valley are open for the duration of winter.

Jindabyne police station also extends its hours with officers available around the clock between the June and October long weekends.


Catch up on the 'real' snow news here as heavy snow falls in Australia:

And for further news on the recent cocaine bust:

 ABF ‏Verified account @AusBorderForce Jul 15 Twitter: ABF ‏Verified account @AusBorderForce Jul 15

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