Iced Coffee

24.08.2016

tags: Drugs, NSW, International,

discussion: 0 comments

By Aaron B Power

From the September 2016 issue of the APJ.

About 8.20am on Tuesday 22 November, 2011 a diminutive Asian man entered the Marco Café on Burwood Road, being the main street of the inner western Sydney suburb of Burwood. One foreign newspaper had previously described him as a bodyguard’. His black suitcase seemed almost larger than him. He was surrounded by numerous patrons drinking their early morning coffee pick-me-ups. Who knows, perhaps he had chosen this café because it may have reminded him of Marco Polo, the famed medieval European ambassador to China.

His eyes were hazy, and he didn't seem sure of his surroundings. Was he there to meet another Asian man in this same café, or was he waiting to move to another one close by? He didn’t seem sure. The fact was he wasn’t sure of anything. Everything was going so fast. He needed to find a phone to call either his missing contact or the anonymous female that had given him orders in the past; the mystery woman who arranged for him to swap what he called paper’ for what he called ‘powder’.He had been brought from his native Hong Kong to facilitate the exchange of ‘powder’ for ‘paper’and‘paper’for ‘powder’. However, he was making the cardinal drug dealer’s mistake of ‘getting high on his own supply’; he had been sampling the ‘powder’ for himself.

For the past few months, he had been sitting in various Burwood cafés, enjoying a coffee in broad daylight and exchanging ‘paper’ for ‘powder’ and ‘powder’ for ‘paper’; in other words, the drug ‘Ice’ for cash and vice versa. He had often sat totally relaxed and nonchalant in the strip’s cafés as he watched the local police walk by only metres from his table.

The Asian was experiencing difficulty meeting up with his ‘contact’. He asked the café’s manager for a phone and was told that the only public phone was at a Westfield mall, hundreds of metres away. It was too far. Next to him, however, was a woman waiting for her early morning caffeine fix. Her handbag was open and clearly visible was her mobile phone. Clearly blinkered by Ice, and desperate to reach his criminal contact, the Asian male became mesmerised by the phone and almost instinctively his hand went out to grasp it. As he did, a patron sitting at a nearby table watched the entire scene unfold. The woman pre-occupied with ordering her coffee, the Asian man’s hand snaking into the handbag. The patron shouted a warning: “Hey!”

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