By Alfa · Apr 19, 2004 · ·
  1. Alfa

    A CITY convenience store on one of Sydney's busiest streets is openly
    selling ecstasy and marijuana to customers.

    A covert investigation by The Sunday Telegraph over four nights uncovered
    the illegal racket on Oxford St, Darlinghurst.

    Oxford St is a popular thoroughfare for shoppers and tourists who were
    passing only metres from where the drugs were being sold and used.

    An undercover reporter from The Sunday Telegraph was last week able to
    purchase two bags of marijuana for $20 each and an ecstasy tablet for $40.

    The reporter approached a counter-assistant at the Oxford Mini-Mart, a
    24-hour convenience store near Taylor Square.

    The reporter asked for Tally-Ho, the code-word for marijuana used at the
    store. Handing over two $20 bills, we were given two plastic sachets of the

    The reporter then asked for "pills" and was handed a single tablet imprinted
    with the mark of an ecstasy supplier.

    The counter-assistant, a man of Middle Eastern appearance in his 20s,
    stashed the money below the counter -- not in the till -- and carried on
    serving customers with groceries.

    Similar transactions were witnessed as frequently as once every five

    Some drug customers appeared as young as 16, others were middle-aged.
    Hundreds of dollars in cash were handed over in some transactions.

    The shop seemed to be on first-name terms with its regular drug customers.
    It had even pre-prepared orders waiting for some.

    Little attempt was made to conceal the illicit trade.

    At 10pm on Friday, a girl in her early 20s approached the counter and
    moments later left the store. She appeared to be buying drugs on behalf of
    other customers.

    On the street, the girl received a phone call. She went back into the store
    for less than a minute before heading to a nearby bar.

    On another occasion, a black car pulled up. A passenger went into the store
    while the driver kept the engine running.

    The customer picked up what appeared to be a prepared order and handed over
    a wad of notes before jumping back into the car.

    An estimated 60 deals were done in five hours while the shop was under
    surveillance by reporters and photographers.

    Many customers leaving the store were seen going to local nightclubs.

    The convenience store is only four doors from the Sol Bar, where a bouncer
    was shot in the thigh on Friday night.

    At least one nearby nightclub directed patrons to the store.

    A staff member from the Ruby Rabbit bar told our reporter "pills" were
    available over the counter at the Mini-Mart.

    "Tell him I sent you," he said.

    The Sunday Telegraph was alerted to the over-the-counter racket by chance
    when its reporter was shopping at the convenience store last Saturday and
    saw drugs being sold.

    It alerted police on Friday of its finding and handed the marijuana and
    ecstasy to a duty officer at Surry Hills police station.

    The police said they were unaware the store was selling drugs, although they
    had investigated another store in the area.

    Police asked for time to make inquiries before The Sunday Telegraph
    published its expose.

    Because of the dangers of drug abuse, the newspaper has decided not to delay

    Last year, about 380 people died from drug overdoses across Australia.

    The dangers of ecstasy were highlighted when a Sydney schoolgirl, Anna Wood,
    15, died after taking a tablet at a rave function in 1995.

    That led to the closure of the Phoenician Club and pledges by the State
    Government to clamp down on drug dealing.

    Five years ago, The Sunday Telegraph exposed drug dealing at Cafe Amsterdam
    in Kings Cross.

    That led to several arrests and the eventual closure of the venue.

    Following the controversy, the NSW Government introduced tough new laws
    giving police powers to close down businesses if there were reasonable
    grounds to believe drugs were being commercially supplied.

    The marijuana bought in Oxford St was positively identified at the
    University of NSW's testing laboratory.

    The ecstasy pill was tested using a special kit purchased by The Sunday

    UNSW analytical laboratory manager Terence Flynn said the pill appeared to
    have been made by an experienced manufacturer.

    "The smiley face markings on (it) indicate it's from a fairly big supplier,"
    he said.

    "It's not a backyard job."

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  1. Alfa

    Ecstasy and marijuana are reportedly being sold openly from a convenience
    store in one of Sydney's busiest streets.

    The 24-hour retail outlet in Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, is a front for a
    major drug-dealing racket, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

    Its reporters conducted a covert investigation of the store over four
    nights and witnessed packets of the illegal drugs being handed out to 60
    customers, including teenagers, over five hours.

    Marijuana was sold in $20 sachets and ecstasy pills at $40 each, the paper

    A reporter was able to buy two bags of marijuana over the counter after
    asking for it by the code word, Tally-Ho, and an ecstasy tablet after
    asking for pills, the newspaper said.

    The counter assistant, a man in his 20s of Middle Eastern appearance,
    reportedly stashed the money below the counter - not in the till - and
    carried on serving customers with groceries.

    Some drugs customers appeared to be as young as 16 while others were

    Police said they were unaware the store was selling drugs and asked for
    time to make inquiries, but the newspaper said it decided to publish
    without delay because of the dangers of drug abuse.
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