Australian Border Force (ABF) foils attempt to smuggle 8kg of ephedrine through Sydney Airport

A 58-year-old Cabramatta man appeared before the Central Local Court on Wednesday (22 Feb) charged with importing about 8kg of ephedrine through Sydney Airport.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified the man when he arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from Vietnam on Tuesday (21 February).

The officers examined the man’s luggage which contained bags of food items, including items such as curry and coffee. When the officers opened the bags of food they discovered they contained a white powder. Testing of this powder returned a positive result for ephedrine.

Ephedrine is a border controlled drug and is used as a precursor agent in the manufacture of illegal amphetamine substances, such as ice.

Ephedrine concealed in a food package.

ABF investigators arrested the man and he was taken to Mascot Police Station and charged with one count of intentionally importing prohibited tier 1 goods, contrary to Section 233BAA(4) of the Customs Act 1901.

During the court appearance the charge was upgraded to one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment.

Acting Regional Commander NSW Jim Beach said ABF officers must be constantly alert to the threat of attempted illicit drug importations at Australia’s airports.

“The ABF continues to see attempts to import illicit drugs into Australia and once again ABF officers have been up to the task of detecting these drugs before they can cause harm in the Australian community,” Acting Regional Commander Beach said.

“The ABF is constantly on alert at Australia’s borders and, in cooperation with our law enforcement partners, we continue to use intelligence and specialist detection techniques to combat the threat of illicit drug importation on a daily basis.”

ABF investigators are continuing enquiries into the circumstances surrounding this case.