Man charged after allegedly smuggling 13kg of precursor chemicals in his luggage

A 35-year-old Australian man has been arrested and charged at Melbourne International Airport after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers found approximately 13 kilograms of pseudoephedrine in his luggage.

The man was selected for a baggage examination by ABF officers after arriving in Melbourne off a flight from Vietnam on 22 August 2019. During the baggage examination, ABF officers located several packages labelled as food products.

The packages were opened and found to contain a white crystalline substance. Further testing of the substance gave a positive result for pseudoephedrine – a precursor commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine or “ice”.

The man was arrested by ABF officers and charged for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor contrary to division 307.11 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

He appeared in Melbourne magistrate’s court on 23 August 2019 and was refused bail, to appear in the same court on 15 November 2019.

ABF Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Craig Palmer, said the detection was a great example of the dedicated work ABF officers undertake at our borders each and every day.

“This detection demonstrates ABF officers at international airports have the skills and technology to identify travellers and baggage that present a risk to the Australian border,” Commander Palmer said.

“We know the significant damage “ice” is having on communities around the country, and our officers at the border are committed to stopping drugs and precursors used to manufacture them reaching our kids and destroying families and communities.

“Those involved in the illicit drug trade should be warned, the ABF has a strong presence at the Border and you will be targeted.”

People with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact Border Watch at By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.

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