Image: Australian Border Force
Two people have been arrested and more than 370kg of ephedrine has been seized following a joint operation between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF).
ABF officers and the NSWPF Drug Squad executed warrants at a residential property in Dundas, Western Sydney last Thursday where two Chinese nationals were arrested and have been charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of ephedrine.
The men, both 25, were remanded in custody and are due to face Parramatta Local Court on 31 October 2017.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment or a fine of $900,000.
It’s estimated that the total amount of ephedrine seized—370kg—could make up to 320kg of ice which equates to 3.2 million individual street hits.
ABF Superintendent of Investigations NSW Garry Low said the seizure brings the combined total of ephedrine detected at the border to more than two tonnes since March this year.
“Significantly, that is the equivalent of 18 million individual hits of ice that the ABF and NSWPF have seized and will now be destroyed,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this joint operation, and the record hauls we’ve been seizing are a direct result of our strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies at both the state and federal level.”
NSWPF Drug Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Tony Cooke said the challenge of ice and other synthetic type drugs is that they are imported as finished product and also manufactured here using precursors such as ephedrine which are also illicitly imported or diverted from legitimate use.
“We are proud of our efforts and we will continue to work with our partners to target the supply and manufacture of illicit drugs, but real and lasting cannot be achieved without change from within the community,” he said.
“As much as anything we need to reduce demand for all illicit drugs. While ever someone is willing to buy them, there will be criminal groups willing to supply it for profit.”
The 370kg haul follows 1.4 tonnes of ephedrine—the largest on record—being seized in June 2017 following a joint operation between the ABF, NSWPF Gangs Squad and the Australian Federal Police.