Midnight Mafia Music Festival: 3,500 MDMA pills seized, 13 people arrested

By @chelean on
Ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical, are pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical, are pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Reuters/U.S. DEA/Handout via Reuters

More than 3,500 MDMA pills were seized at the Midnight Mafia Music Festival at Sydney Showground on Saturday. Thirteen people were arrested and charged, including two 21-year-old women and one 19-year-old woman, who were all allegedly found carrying hundreds of the psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy.

According to NSW police, out of more than 14,000 people who attended the music festival in Sydney, 187 people were searched. Thirteen people were arrested and charged with drug supply, while 32 were issued court notices for drug possession. The operation involved officers from the South West Metropolitan Region and was assisted by drug-detention dogs.

“We saw more drugs seized today than recent events, one of the largest we’ve seen, which clearly shows our messaging is not getting through,” Detective Chief Inspector Gus Viera, commander of the South West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad, said. “I am extremely disappointed with these results; however, we will continue to conduct these operations at upcoming festivals throughout the year. Those intent on bringing illicit drugs into these events will be caught, charged and put before the courts.”

The arrests include a 21-year-old woman who was allegedly found in possession of almost 1,600 MDMA caps, as well as an amount of cocaine. She will appear on Burwood Local Court on May 25. Another 21-year-old woman was charged with drug supply after she was apparently found carrying nearly 550 pills. She was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

A 19-year-old woman was also charged after 200 MDMA caps were seized from her. She will appear at Burwood Local Court on May 24.

About 256 people sought medical treatment and three were taken to hospital for drug-related health issues during the event.

Some revellers complained that they were denied entry to the annual music festival after they were searched by police on their way in even though they were not found anything incriminating on them. Some even reportedly had “tickets ripped up in front of them” even after they were cleared by the police.

Event organisers Hard Styles United (HSU) said those denied entry after being searched would be offered a full refund. “We do reserve the right to exclude persons attending any even as we are a licensed premises, this could be for various reasons, however, we are unable to outline the tactics and policies relating to police operations,” a spokesman told news.com.au.