Detectives have charged two men as part of ongoing joint investigations into the alleged importation of more than $3.5 million worth of ephedrine concealed in vehicle parts.
Acting on intelligence information, officers from Australian Border Force (ABF) targeted a consignment which arrived in Sydney from India last Thursday (17 December 2020).
The air cargo consignment – which was declared to contain vehicle parts – was examined at the Sydney Container Examination Facility by ABF officers, who noted inconsistencies.
During a subsequent deconstruction, the consignment was found to contain nearly 50kg of powder concealed within the items.
The powder was tested and returned a presumptive positive result for ephedrine, which has an estimated potential street value of more than $3.5 million.
Inquiries were subsequently commenced by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, who seized the consignment and conducted a controlled delivery.
Following extensive inquiries, detectives, with assistance from Strike Force Raptor Highway, arrested two men – aged 39 and 48 – during two separate vehicle stops at Georges Hall about 1pm yesterday (Monday 21 December 2020).
A short time later, two search warrants were executed at properties at Bankstown and Picnic Point, where detectives seized various substances believed to be prohibited drugs, documentation, computers and electronic storage devices
Investigators also seized 50kg of iodine, which has an estimated potential street value of $50,000.
The iodine and ephedrine seized during the operation has to potential to produce 38kg of methylamphetamine (ice), with an estimated potential street value of $9.5 million.
All items will undergo further examination.
The men were taken to Bankstown Police Station and both charged with attempt to possess amount of precursor prescribed by regulations and attempted possess controlled precursor.
Police will allege in court the men were involved in the large-scale importation of illicit drugs into NSW.
The men were refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court today (Tuesday 22 December 2020).
Investigations by the Drug and Firearms Squad are continuing.