Over the weekend, police made a number of drug related arrests at Sydney’s Midnight Mafia Music Festival. That in itself isn’t too surprising—police and sniffer dogs are as common at festivals as body glitter and problematic t-shirts. But the amount of drugs seized off partiers have left even the most experienced cops reeling.
The stand out encounter involved a 21-year-old woman who was found with 1600 caps and an un-detailed amount of cocaine on her. Just pause for a moment to absorb that number. She was walking around the festival, with easily $50k of drugs on her.
Speaking to Seven News Detective Chief Inspector Gus Viera admitted he had “never seen anything like it”. Adding that “the sheer brazenness of it is incredible.”
She wasn’t the only one with a lot going on though. Another 21-year-old woman was found with nearly 550 pills, while a 19-year-old woman had 200 caps. Between them they made up a sizable proportion of the 3,500 MDMA capsules seized from 187 people. In all, 13 festival goers were charged, and 32 were issued with court notices for drug possession.
Over the event, 256 people sought medical treatment, and three were taken to hospital for drug-related issues. Upsettingly, one 25-year-old woman is reportedly “fighting for her life”.
Not surprising, Inspector Viera admitted to being concerned about the numbers of drugs found. In a statement he said: “We saw more drugs seized today than recent events, one of the largest we’ve seen, which clearly shows our messaging is not getting through.”
The incident comes in the wake of the much discussed pill testing efforts at Canberra's Groovin' The Moo festival last month. The trial was the first of its kind in Australia, and saw 85 samples tested. Two of which were revealed to contain the highly dangerous active ingredient N-Ethylpentylone—which is a synthetic stimulant occasionally found in "bath salts." Speaking to VICE in the days after, Dr David Caldicott who lead the testing said that “within five minutes of that result, I’d called the chief health minister of the ACT and let him know it was in the territory.”
Maybe something for the Midnight Mafia team to keep in mind next year.