A 25-year-old Chinese national has been arrested in Hobart, becoming the third person charged by Australian Border Force (ABF), for importing over 101 kilograms of ephedrine concealed in cow milking machines.
On 11 July 2017, ABF officers at the Sydney Container Examination facility targeted a consignment from China for examination. X-ray screening revealed anomalies in the milking machines and after deconstructing them, officers located more than 60 foil packages containing ephedrine, a precursor used to manufacture methamphetamine or “ice”.
On 20 July 2017, a 25-year-old male Chinese national and a 26-year-old male Chinese national were arrested by ABF investigators after accessing the consignment in Sydney. Both were charged under section 307.11 of the Criminal Code 1995 for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor. Both cases are ongoing in the courts.
Following extensive further investigations, ABF officers executed Customs Act warrants on multiple residential addresses in the Hobart area on Thursday 14 June 2018 with the assistance of officers from Tasmania Police.
During the warrants, ABF investigators located documentary evidence relating to the importation, as well as a significant amount of drug paraphernalia and small quantities of narcotics, which were referred to Tasmania Police for investigation.
Subsequent to the warrants being executed, a 25-year-old man was arrested by ABF investigators in Hobart. He was charged under section 307.11 of the Criminal Code 1995 for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor. Arrangements are being made for him to be extradited to NSW.
ABF Commander Enforcement Command, Graeme Grosse, said the case should serve as a warning to criminals that the ABF will tirelessly investigate these offences and track down those responsible, no matter where they hide.
“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,” Commander Grosse said.
“We know the significant damage “ice” is having on communities around the country which is why we are committed to stopping these substances from hitting the street and catching those responsible for bringing them into Australia”.
People with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact Border Watch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.