'Mafia' sells fake cocaine
A MACKAY-BASED business has been producing a synthetic substitute to cocaine and distributing it across the country.
The group, called Our Baked Mafia, have been selling the drug 'Shaman's Dust' and a number of other substances via their website and Facebook sites.
Users from as far away as Albury-Wodonga have reported purchasing the drug, which is sold through the region's adult shops.
Queensland police said it was difficult to determine the drug's legality, as the active ingredient in Shaman's Dust was unknown.
However, Curtin University drug and alcohol researcher Stephen Bright said reported chemical tests had suggested the active ingredient in Shaman's Dust was a relatively new drug known as MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone)
"MDPV is similar to amphetamine, though shorter in duration, so the dose is very small," Mr Bright said.
"And that's if it does contain MDPV, but I suspect Shaman's Dust contains more than MDPV.
"The issue is in dosing because MDPV is active at such a low dose they'd have to mix it with something to make it safer to use.
"The concern there is the ratio could change from batch to batch."
The Border Mail newspaper in Albury-Wodonga quoted users of Shaman's Dust who described the drug as "stronger than real cocaine" and people who took too much were "awake for days".
MDPV is currently illegal in Western Australia, however Mr Bright said the substance would probably be made illegal on a federal level in May.
Mackay Police declined to comment on the existence of Our Baked Mafia and its products.
A message this week appeared on Our Baked Mafia's website advising customers that the business was temporarily closed due to family illness. The owners of Our Baked Mafia were unable to be contacted. However, the site claims all of the products sold are "100% legal".
"You cannot have a true positive urine or saliva swab while on our legal high products," the site said.
"We do not condone intravenous use of any of Our Mafia products."
Stephen Bright MDPV is active at such a low dose they'd have to mix it with something to make it safer to use.