Everything I know about being a cop comes from television shows.
Criminal Minds is perfect viewing for a late night binge but isn’t exactly what I would call educational material. A lot of the police work we see on TV and in movies is sensationalised to make it more exciting.
But, occasionally, some crazy cases do pop up in the real world. The latest episode of Police Tape, Merrick Watt’s new true crime podcast, looks at such a case.
Get ready to feel intelligent. Bare with me, you’ll know what I mean.
In the episode, Merrick chats to Nick Bingham, a previous detective superintendent at the New South Wales Police Force.
The pair start by chatting about the ins and outs of drug work (ie: the boring stuff that TV shows don’t show you).
“Drugwork is based around surveillance, the use of electronic devices to intercept phones and listening devices,” Nick explains in the episode.
“Drug investigations usually start with information…and then we sort of work from there as to who is involved in the network, where they’re supplying, who they’re getting it from and how we’re going to infiltrate them by way of undercover operations or through surveillance.”
Yep, it’s definitely not like on Law & Order.
But bare with me friends ‘cause this is when things start to spice up.
Nick and Merrick begin to discuss a specific drug case. It involved over 100 shipping containers, with 15kgs of drugs ( pseudoephedrine, heroine and meth) found within 53 of them.
Now we’re talking.
Now, I might not know a lot about police work but I do know a thing or two about lying. A good lie must:
- Include a little bit of the truth.
- Cover your arse at all costs.
In this case, the shipping containers are your little bit of truth. They were shipped into a shipment yard like normal and, before the police caught on, people were none the wiser.
The second point is where things started to go a bit south for the bad guys. And by south I mean they stuffed themselves over.
“One of the containers had tools left inside and ONE had a fingerprint on them which then came up on an international database as belonging to a guy of Chinese origin,” Nick explains in the podcast.
Eventually they tracked the dude back to China where, get this, he had already been arrested for similar importations.
So there you have it folks: a huge drug bust was made all because one guy forgot to pack his tools away.
Feel smart now?
Police Tape is available to stream on Acast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.