Monday 19th Nov, 2018

Drug-production materials hidden in beauty products

AUTHORITIES have warned of new methods of illegally importing gammabutyrolactone (GBL), widely used to manufacture the drug known as ‘Fantasy’.

A joint statement from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) expressed concern about the methods criminals were using to import this drug, sometimes known as ‘coma in a bottle’, which has been found hidden within imports of Chinese beauty products.

Some four seizures in the past month, each containing five litres of the drug, were found in containers purporting to be make-up removal gel.

The drug is said to have been unwittingly bought by the legitimate beauty industry.

AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan said if beauty salons or anyone else had concerns or adverse reactions to a beauty product, they should seek medical advice.

“The potential harm with using these misleading products, many of which are not labelled, is particularly high in products used for the removal of imitation eye lashes,” acting Assistant Commissioner Sheehan said.

“When ingested this dangerous substance is capable of ruining lives in a single incident.

“This financial year (2016-17) 1,137 litres has been seized nationally, which includes a single shipment of more than one thousand litres, compared with 307 litres in 2015-16 and 435 litres during the 2014-15 financial year.”

Importing a border controlled drug, namely GBL, carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars or a fine of $1,350,000 or even both.

Acting ABF Commander Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Clinton Sims, said the ABF was committed to disrupting such illegal importing.

“Our advanced border detection techniques are finding more concealments and ABF is proud of the work our officers do on the primary line to protect the community,” Acting Commander Sims said.

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