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16 May 2010

Aussies With Gambling Problems Targeted To Run Drugs, by Greg Tingle - 16th May 2010

It's an all too familiar theme to the pages of Gambling911, but the strong connection between casinos, gambling and crime continues. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the links with a focus on the Australian - Asia Pacific - Oriental connection...

Australians, many "new Australians" and desperate gamblers are being targeted by drug bosses in the Asia Pacific region.

Recently findings show that Australian and Oriental jails are filling up with the mules who crime lords recruit, and Aussie casinos and clubs are a known place of recruiting activity.

We've learned that many of the inmates had incurred gambling debts and elected (or were forced) to mule drugs, to pay back their debt accounts.

A mule can make up to 15k or 20k for a trip, but getting away with the crime is not so easy. Dozens of mules rot in Asian jails, most not getting any news media coverage.

NSW Police Force's Asian Crime Squad chief, Detective Acting Superintendent Scott Cook, advised that while heroin mules have become less common, vulnerable people are still being targeted.

"What we find generally is the recruiting for mules or people who are going to bring drugs back to Australia generally happens around a debt, or around some other need for money,".

The profile of a drug mule no longer resembles ambitious young persons in a hurry to wealth, scouts look at other types including gamblers.

Loan sharks and agents hang out at the clubs and casinos looking for gamblers to recruit.

The AFP has commenced pro active operations in Vietnam and a significant spike in numbers of Aussies has occurred.

The criminal element at a number of Australian hotels, pubs and casinos is understood to be just one of the reasons for the ongoing popularity of online casinos and online poker rooms, and sports betting on the internet continues at record levels. A number on Australian AFL and NRL players, and their friends, are understood to prefer TAB shop visits where they can pay cash, and bets are much more difficult to trace.

Media Man and Gambling911 remind the readership to keep gaming and gambling fun, and seek professional assistance if it starts to become a problem.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

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