JOINT RELEASE: Steroid lab uncovered; man charged at Blacktown

A man has been charged and an elaborate clandestine steroid manufacturing laboratory dismantled following joint investigations by the NSW Police Force and Australian Border Force (ABF).

On Monday 8 October 2018, an air cargo consignment arrived in Sydney from China, and was subject to further examination by ABF officers.

It was found to contain a vacuum filtration kit believed to be used in the manufacture of illicit steroids and numerous branded sticker labels for various performance and image enhancing drugs.

The case was referred to NSW Police Force and detectives from Blacktown Police Area Command established Strike Force Hyndman to investigate.

On Friday 7 June 2019, ABF officers advised they had intercepted a further air cargo consignment that arrived in Sydney.

The cargo, declared as plastic plates, was examined by ABF Aviation Goods officers and found to contain a manual capsule filling and joining machine.

Another consignment was intercepted by ABF officers on Sunday 9 June 2019 and was found to contain approximately 1kg of illicit steroids, concealed within food packaging.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators, with assistance from North West Metropolitan Region Operational Support Group, executed a search warrant at home at Woodcroft, about 8am yesterday (Wednesday 24 July 2019).

During the search, detectives allegedly located a clandestine steroid manufacturing laboratory.

The lab was rendered safe by Fire and Rescue NSW’s HAZMAT, before being dismantled by specialist officers from the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Team.

A 33-year-old man was arrested at the home and taken to Blacktown Police Station.

He has been charged with manufacture prohibited drug (commercial quantity), supply prohibited drug (commercial quantity) and possess drug manufacture apparatus make prohibited drug.

The man has been refused bail to appear before Blacktown Local Court later today (Thursday 25 July 2019).

Blacktown Police Area Command Commander, Detective Superintendent Trent King, said that the results of this investigation reflect excellent interagency operations.

“This joint investigation has prevented the potential manufacture and distribution of illicit substances throughout our local community and beyond,” Det Supt King said.

“Our strong working relationships will navigate any detection at the border to ensure we continue to disrupt crime and investigate those involved in criminal activity, in turn, making our streets safer”.

ABF Regional Investigations Superintendent Garry Low said it was another example of the success of the ABF’s multi-layered approach to detecting illicit substances at the border.

“Our officers continue to demonstrate their skills and expertise when it comes to identifying mail and cargo packages that are out of the ordinary. This detection came about because of their diligence and hard work in screening items coming through the border,” Supt Low said.

“Their skills, coupled with the hard work of our intelligence teams and investigators and our close working relationships with our law enforcement partners, mean we are continuing to seize these items and disrupt those intent on breaking the law and facilitating their importation.”

Investigations continue.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Hyndman investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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