Record GBL seizure in Sydney

Joint media release with the AFP

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers yesterday detected and seized a record 62 litres of the border controlled drug, gammabutyrolactone (GBL), commonly used to manufacture the drug known as ‘Fantasy’.

A 37-year-old man was selected for a full baggage search after he arrived on a flight from Thailand.

During the search, ABF officers identified a number of bottles containing a liquid substance, which was later identified as GBL.

The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for further investigations and the man was charged with the importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The man appeared before court today (11 December) where his bail was refused.

ABF Regional Commander NSW, Tim Fitzgerald, said the detection was an important one for the community.

“This is dangerous substance, capable of ruining many lives in a single incident,” Commander Fitzgerald said.

"This record seizure—our largest airport seizure of this drug to date—demonstrates the ongoing hard work of officers at the border, who continue to intercept illegal substances every week to keep our communities safe,” he said.

AFP Airport Police Commander Sharon Cowden said bringing a substance like GBL into Australia is a serious offence and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, or a fine of $1,350,000—or in some cases both.

“From a policing perspective, it is particularly satisfying that such a large quantity of such a dangerous drug will not be available in the Australian community this holiday season,” Commander Cowden said.

GBL, also known as ‘coma in a bottle’, metabolises into the drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in the body. It can cause abrupt loss of consciousness, memory loss, respiratory difficulties, coma and death.

Media enquiries:
Immigration and Border Protection Media (02) 6264 2244
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333

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