Air Cargo Ephedrine

An air cargo shipment from China is the latest host to a concealment of drugs bought into Australia.

The shipment, which arrived into Sydney, was manifested as 16 rolls of screen mesh. Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected the consignment for an examination. The shipment was x-rayed, with abnormalities being found.

ABF officers further examined the goods inside the shipment and discovered a white crystalline substance secreted in the mesh.  Initial testing of the white powder tested positive for ephedrine, a precursor used in the manufacture methamphetamine which is also known as ICE.

When the package was delivered to a resident in Burwood, a 15-year-old accepted the shipment. He later admitted that he was paid to receive the package by a 20-year-old Chinese National. The Chinese National was later arrested when arriving into Sydney airport from New Zealand. He has been charged with one count of importing a border controlled substance, contrary to section 233BAA(4) of the Customs Act 1901.

ABF NSW Regional Commander Tim Fitzgerald said any type of criminal activity involving young people was particularly concerning for law enforcement agencies.

“The Australian Border Force is committed to dismantling criminal syndicates who seek to breach our border controls, particularly those which target vulnerable people,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “If you’re involved in this type of activity we’ll use all of our intelligence, technology and expertise to track you down, take your drugs and make sure you face the full force of the law. Minors are cautioned to be aware and are asked to report any information or concerns about someone they know who may be involved in this activity to Border Watch on 1800 009 623. This can be done anonymously.”

The 20-year-old man appeared at the Sydney Central Local Court today facing a maximum penalty of $180,000 and up to five years in gaol.

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