Pseudoephedrine Concealed in Packaged Food Passenger Arrested

[25th June 2018] Six and a half kilograms of Pseudoephedrine was found in the baggage of a 54-year-old Australian man. He had concealed the item in packaged food items in his suitcase.

On his arrival in Sydney International Airport from Vietnam on Saturday 23 June, The Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected his baggage for examination. His suitcase had many commercially packaged food items labelled as instant cereal, tea and coffee. They found white crystallized powder which was later confirmed as Pseudoephedrine, concealed in these packaged foods.

No Sydney based licensed customs brokers have been identified in relation to this importation. Even in the case of attempting illegal importations, the importers commonly solicit customs brokers in order to add validity to their importation and avoid suspicion from the authorities.

It is reported that Pseudoephedrine abuse, addiction, and dependence are becoming more common in teenagers and adults. For importation of a commercial quantity of a border-controlled precursor used for manufacture of drugs of dependence, such as ice, the man was charged with section 307.11 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The offence under this section carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) Regional Commander NSW Danielle Yannopoulos said that this is an example of the extent to which the criminals go to import illicit items. He further commented “Attempts such as this to smuggle illicit substances across the border are no match to skilled officers who know things are not always what they appear to be. We are committed to stopping importation of illicit substances into our community and catching those responsible for bringing them here.

The accused was taken to Parramatta Local Court on Sunday 24 June. He has been remanded in custody until the next court date on Wednesday 27 June.


Hong Kong National Arrested for Running Drug Lab

[6th July 2018] Australian Border Force (ABF) arrested a 25-year-old Chinese national in Hobart for importing 101 kilograms of ephedrine concealed in cow milking machines.

Ephedrine, a precursor used to manufacture methamphetamine or “ice” was detected in 60 foil packages concealed in milking machines. X-ray screening by ABF officers at the Sydney Container Examination facility noticed anomalies in the milking machines. After deconstructing them they located more than 60 foil packages containing ephedrine. Involvement of any local or interstate customs brokers in this case has not been identified.

In July 2017 ABF investigators arrested two Chinese national aged 25 and 26 after accessing consignments belonging to them in Sydney. They were charged under section 307.11 of the Criminal Code 1995 and these cases are ongoing in the courts. They were charged for importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled precursor.

With assistance of Tasmania police, further investigations followed and executed Customs Act warrants on residential addresses in Hobart.

Findings of the investigation were documentary evidence relating to importation, large amount of drug paraphernalia and small quantities of narcotics. These were handed over to Tasmania Police for further investigation.

Following the warrants, a 25-year-old man was arrested by ABF investigators in Hobart. He was charged under section 307.11 of the Criminal Code 1995 and arrangements made to extradite him NSW.

Graeme Grosse, ABF Commander Enforcement Command warned criminals that the ABF will work tirelessly to book them. Explaining the background Commander Grosse said “Our investigators have pursued this case for almost 12 months, and working with our domestic law enforcement partners, the ABF has once again stopped a significant amount of ephedrine entering the country,”. He also commented on the damage done by “ice” on the people of the country and emphasized his commitment to fight against “ice” and to put behind bars those responsible for the crime.

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