3.9 tonnes of ephedrine have been intercepted on the way into Australia – enough to make $3.6 billion dollars worth of methamphetamine.
It is the largest importation of a drug precursor seized in Australian history.
350 kilograms of methamphetamine were also intercepted, and three people arrested, in two joint operations between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The linked and simultaneous investigations began with information originating from Thai authorities, about suspected large-scale imports of illicit drugs into Sydney.
Following extensive joint investigations, two consignments from Thailand were intercepted during the past three weeks. The 3.9 tonnes of liquid ephedrine were concealed in green tea bottles the 350 kilograms of methamphetamine were hidden inside buckets of plaster.
Two people were arrested over the ephedrine importation. One man was arrested in relation to the methamphetamine.
The success of these operations is a direct result of the strong relationships established between our Australian law enforcement agencies and those overseas.
Seamless co-operation with our global partners is critical to protecting our island nation's borders against the criminals who trade in misery and attempt to bring illicit drugs into Australia.
The Government is tackling the supply of ice and methamphetamine through increased international cooperation, enhanced intelligence sharing, better controls of precursor chemicals and greater law enforcement efforts to prevent these community-wrecking substances from reaching our shores.
Today’s results are an example of what can be achieved through national and international partnerships. By building these partnerships we can work to break the business models of drug dealers and those that rely and thrive on the profits of illicit drugs.
Keeping illicit drugs out of country and off our streets is one of the highest priorities of this Government.
3.9 tonnes of ephedrine can produce 3.6 tonnes of methamphetamine with 100% purity.