Drug hub dubbed Green North

THE Northern Rivers including the Tweed have become a hub for international drug syndicates, a police source has revealed.

Areas in and between Nimbin, Murwillumbah and Byron Bay have, for many years, been known 'on the street' as the 'Golden Triangle'.

But in more recent years the Far North Coast has become known as the 'Green North'.

It is an attractive area for drug%manufacturers who want to keep a low profile.

This week a police source revealed that Northern NSW, which also encompasses Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, was seeing more drug activity, more violence and more criminal activity.

"Ten years ago heroin was a big issue," the source said.

"Now we are seeing further increases in what we call a white powder culture.

"Most bikies make their money from drugs.

"In this area, drug manufacturers and growers are attracted to the bigger blocks, quiet rural lifestyle and what they perceive as fewer police resources."

And with the Gold Coast just next door, illegal drugs are moving across the border regularly, with Gold Coast suppliers coming into NSW and vice versa, the source said.

The source, who cannot be named, was careful to say that while the area was not yet as bad as some of the more international hotspots, outlaw motorcycle gangs, at least one international mafia family, and other criminal syndicates had set up home in the Northern Rivers.

"They like this area and generally keep a pretty low profile," the source said. Tweed detective, Josh Burton, revealed that the Far North Coast, historically, was second only to the notorious Kings Cross in Sydney for illegal drug detections.

The increasing drug problem is also made tougher for law enforcers with some communities hostile to a police crackdown on drugs because they continue to reap the benefits of their laid-back, hippie, drug-culture image.

"It's harder to shake that image when people can still pick up drugs on the streets," the source said.

"And, unfortunately, there is a market here."

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