Five years’ jail for Sydney man importing almost 12kg of ephedrine

A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to five years’ jail with a non-parole period of 2.5 years for importing almost 12kg of ephedrine in 2015.

The man was sentenced in Downing Centre District Court this week (13 February 2017) after being found guilty of one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor, namely ephedrine, contrary to 307.11 of the Criminal Code.

On 16 August 2015, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers targeted a package from China for examination. The package was x-rayed resulting in anomalies being detected. 

ABF officers examined the consignment and found it to contain 15 rolls of fly-screen mesh. On closer inspection, one of the rolls was found to contain a white crystalline substance.

Presumptive field tests conducted on the white crystalline substance returned positive results for the presence of ephedrine.

ABF Investigators conducted an evidence deconstruction on the consignment. Each of the 15 rolls was found to contain a concealment of a white crystalline substance.

On 24 August 2015, ABF Investigators executed a managed delivery and subsequent search warrant at a residence in Burwood, New South Wales. The man was subsequently interviewed and arrested by ABF Investigators.  

Ephedrine is used as a precursor agent in the manufacture of illegal amphetamine substances, such as ice. The 11.88kg of pure ephedrine seized has a value of $80,000 a kilo and could potentially make 14kg of ice.

Commander Investigations Mark Antill said the ABF is committed to targeting criminals who have no regard for the impact they are having on people’s lives by bringing these precursors into the country.

“Stopping these substances at the border means we’re disrupting the local manufacture of methamphetamine and depriving criminal syndicates of a product to sell,” Commander Antill said.

“The ABF has the expertise and the technology to detect even the most sophisticated concealments and we will continue to focus on maintaining the security of our borders.”

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $900,000.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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