Largest seizure of imported drug

More than 1,000 cartons filled with bottles of iced tea returned a positive reading for a record 3.9 tonnes of ephedrine, a drug precursor.

Story appeared in: Torch | October 10th, 2017

A REVESBY property was searched by Federal Police on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the alleged discovery of the importation of a record 3.9 tonnes of ephedrine.
Three people have been arrested as a result of joint investigations between Federal Police and the Australian Border Force (ABF).
Investigations began with information originating from Thai authorities, about suspected large-scale imports of border controlled drugs into Sydney.
ABF officers conducted targeted examinations of consignments at the Sydney Container Examination Facility and, on Friday, September 15, allegedly detected a sea cargo shipment containing more than 1,000 cartons filled with bottles of iced tea.
Police said presumptive testing of the bottles returned a positive reading for ephedrine in approximately one third of the cartons.
Each carton contained 24 bottles labelled as iced tea, resulting in a weight of about 3.9 tonnes of liquid ephedrine. This is the largest seizure of precursor chemicals at the Australian border - the previous record was a 1.4 tonne seizure in June 2017.
Following extensive investigations, Federal Police and ABF officers conducted four simultaneous search warrants in Revesby, Cabramatta, Rydalmere and Westmead on Wednesday.
A 22-year-old woman - a dual Australian and Chinese national - was arrested in Westmead; while a 22-year-old Australian man was arrested in Rydalmere for their alleged roles in the importation.
Both were charged with importation of a border controlled precursor. The 22-year-old man was also charged with attempting to possess a border controlled precursor.
Investigations are continuing and further arrests have not been ruled out.

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Publication: Torch | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 131795 | Viewcount: 12890