Indian Mithai boxes found with 25kg of ‘Ice’ precursor chemicals

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A man is facing charges after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers discovered 25 kilograms of the precursor chemical pseudoephedrine concealed in several boxes of confectionary.

On 22 August 2019, ABF officers targeted an air cargo consignment from India. Upon examination, an x-ray identified anomalies in the consignment, and an ABF detector dog gave a positive reaction to the consignment.

Upon further deconstruction, 26 of the boxes were found to contain a crystalline substance concealed within a foil bag. Testing returned a presumptive positive result for pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, or “ice”.

ABF Regional Investigations NSW A/g Superintendent John Fleming said the operation had prevented thousands of hits of “ice” from potentially reaching Australian communities.

“Our officers at the border have the skills and technologies to find concealments of illicit substances like these, however sophisticated criminal syndicates might think they are,” A/g Superintendent Fleming said.

“Methamphetamine is such a destructive drug and perpetuates misery in some of our most vulnerable communities. This operation shows whether you import the drug or the precursors to make the drug, we have you in our sights.”

The man was arrested and charged with of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled precursor, contrary to Criminal Code Act 1995, Section 307.11(1), which carries a maximum penalty for an individual of 25 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $900,000.

He appeared at Burwood Local Court on 29 August and was refused bail. He will appear in the same court on 23 October 2019.

Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs or border-controlled precursors should contact Border Watch at australia.gov.au/borderwatch. You can provide information anonymously.

(ABF)