Apparently, drug traffickers will use anyone, even the elderly, just so they could smuggle ice into Australia. According to a report by Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop and Jeanavive McGregor, this MO was uncovered following the death of a Gold Coast grandfather in China, where he was arrested with nearly 1.9 kilograms of the drug methamphetamine.
Duped by Internet scam
Sixty-four-year old John Warwick, a disability pensioner, was duped in an Internet scam, which offered him the chance to set up an import-export business. He was lured to China by “Lee Wang”, which is most certainly an alias. He made two trips to the country. Warwick was handed a DVD player and package of clothes on his first trip. On his second trip, he was given another DVD player to bring to Australia. This time, however, the DVD player was filled with drugs, which got him arrested at Guangzhou airport in July 2014.
Two months after his arrest, Warwick died in a Chinese prison hospital.
Unlikely drug mule
The fact that Warwick is a disability pensioner and was suffering from heart problems, diabetes and gout makes him a very unlikely drug mule that can smuggle ice into Australia, but if the crime syndicate that got in touch with him knew about this, they probably thought they could use that to their advantage. In the end, they lost their merchandise and basically sent an elderly man to his death. Even if he died of an illness, he did get caught with drugs in China, and we all know how harsh China’s drugs policy can get.
If you have an elderly relative living with you, you will need to keep a closer watch, especially if your loved one is Internet-savvy. These criminals are obviously targeting people who are lonely or bored, and it doesn’t matter to them how old they are, as Warwick’s case clearly shows.
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