Detectives from the Clandestine Laboratory Squad yesterday arrested four people following the seizure of 50 kilograms of pseudoephedrine which had been imported into Melbourne via airfreight.
Victoria Police and the Australian Border Force (ABF) began a joint investigation, after a detection of the border-controlled precursor on 23 September, which was concealed within a consignment that had been imported from India.
Victoria Police Detectives and ABF Investigators executed warrants at two addresses in Clyde and Keysborough shortly after 5pm on Thursday 29 September.
Along with the 50kg of pseudoephedrine, police also seized an additional two kilograms of pseudoephedrine concealed in rolling pins, one kilogram of methylamphetamine as well as records pertaining to drug importation from the Clyde property.
A seizure this size could have been used to manufacture an estimated 37 kilograms of methylamphetamine.
Detectives arrested two men at Melbourne Airport on Thursday afternoon attempting to leave the country.
They had about $20,000 cash between them.
A 36-year-old Clyde man was charged with two counts of traffick large commercial quantity.
A 34-year-old Clyde man was charged with traffick large commercial quantity.
The duo has been remanded in custody and will next appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 19 January 2023.
A 26-year-old Cranbourne East man was released and is expected to be charged on summons.
A 40-year-old Dandenong man was released pending further enquiries.
Pseudoephedrine is a drug of dependence pursuant to the Drugs Poisons & Controlled Substances Act 1981, and a Commonwealth border-controlled precursor chemical.
Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Anthony Vella, Clandestine Laboratory Squad:
“This is a significant seizure and one that highlights the ability of Victoria Police and the Australian Border Force to intercept precursor chemicals before they are used in the manufacture of illicit drugs.
“These arrests should serve as a sobering reminder to those facilitating the manufacture of illicit drugs, that police will actively target you.
“There may be a perception drugs can be easily concealed, however we have seen time and time again the ability of police and the Australian Border Force to detect and seize these substances.
“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target those involved in the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs and hold them to account.”
Quotes attributable to Australian Border Force Inspector James Judge, ABF Investigations VIC/TAS:
“Sadly this is just one of many attempts to bring border controlled drugs and precursors into Australia that the ABF has intercepted this year.
“Our highly trained officers have significant skill and technological capability when it comes to detecting drugs at the border.
“We are alert to the different ways criminals try to conceal and move their drugs, and those considering bringing drugs into Australia would do well to remember that – or face the consequences.
“In addition to the harm illicit drug use causes directly to individuals, there are devastating social impacts on families, and significant health-care system costs.
“We continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop these drugs reaching our communities where they can cause so much damage.”