Ephedrine concealed in boxes of ceramic paintings seized from drug syndicate


The Australian Border Force (ABF) seized approximately 40 kilograms of prohibited precursor drug ephedrine. With the arrest of three people in Sydney in this connection, the Australian Border Force has successfully disrupted an organised criminal syndicate with links in China and Australia.

On charges related to the importation of 25kg of ephedrine, a 28-year-old man from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a 22-year-old woman from the PRC, and an 18-year-old Australian man were arrested. Officials of ABF said the ephedrine seized would have a street value of $6 million once converted into methamphetamine (ice). The ABF has not officially disclosed names of any Sydney customs broker in connection with this case.

A second consignment belonging to the same group was intercepted by ABF and seized 15 kilograms of ephedrine. Tim Fitzgerald, ABF Regional Commander NSW said the seizures is an important step forward in disrupting a significant organised criminal network. This cartel had over time, attempted to smuggle drugs through sea and air at different entry points of Australia. This case has sends a clear message to criminal groups that ABF is very vigilant and will not allow drugs, which causes terrible harm to the society, to enter Australia.

At the Container Examination Facility at Port Botany in Sydney, ABF officers intercepted a sea cargo consignment from China. Following this, the consignment was tracked to an address in the Sydney suburb of Ryde. On the basis of the illegal items recovered, ABF officers arrested and charged three people. Contraband seized was 25 kilograms of ephedrine concealed in boxes of ceramic paintings sent from China.

Accused has been charged with the offence of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor ephedrine without a permit. For the offences committed the maximum penalty can be fine of up to $550,000 and or a jail term of 5 years.