Police stop GBL reaching Gold Coast streets, woman charged over import

A Queensland woman is due to face Southport Magistrates Court today (Friday, 22 May) charged with importing gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), after police executed a search warrant at a Gold Coast property yesterday.

On 4 May, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in Sydney intercepted an air freight consignment that had arrived via China, addressed to Robina on the Gold Coast.

Further examination of the consignment revealed the presence of approximately 25 litres of GBL, with an estimated street value of $125,000. The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for further investigation.

AFP officers, together with officers from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) Gold Coast Major and Organised Crime Squad and ABF detector dogs and their handlers, executed a search warrant at a home in Robina yesterday morning (Thursday, 21 May), where they arrested a 25-year-old woman.

It will also be alleged officers located an estimated $40,000 in cash during a search of the home.

The 25-year-old woman was charged with:

  • One count of possessing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs (being GBL), contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
  • One count of receiving money or other property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, contrary to Section 400.9 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) and,
  • One count of order to provide information or assistance, contrary to Section 3LA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)

Possession of a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Stephen Jay said intercepting drugs like GBL is vital to putting a dent in the revenue of organised crime, and preventing harm to the community by removing a chemical that can be fatal, even in tiny doses.

“GBL – also known as liquid ecstasy, fantasy or ‘coma in a bottle’ – is a potent chemical which can have severe side-effects once used, leading to drug dependency and death.”

“The use of any illicit substance can have dire outcomes and we want to remind the community of the dangers of this particular drug,” Detective Acting Superintendent Jay said.

Detective Inspector Craig McGrath from the QPS Major and Organised Crime Squad said this is another great example of State and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies working together to keep the community safe.

“We will continue to work with the AFP, ABF and any other agencies, to investigate and respond to the threat and harm caused by individuals who engage in these type of illicit activities,” Detective Inspector McGrath said.

ABF Queensland Regional Commander, Chris Waters, said the outcome showed the close collaboration between law enforcement stakeholders continued to yield outcomes, and had not been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our officers are continuing to work tirelessly to detect contraband at the border, and our detector dog program is proud to provide warrant assistance to state and territory police as required,” Regional Commander Waters said.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Vision and images relating to this investigation can be downloaded here.

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