AUSTRALIAN Border Force officers in Sydney have arrested two Malaysian nationals after detecting and preventing more than 1,200 kilograms of ephedrine from reaching illicit drug manufacturers and being used to produce ‘ice’.

On 10 September a shipment declared as furniture was x-rayed by ABF officers at the Sydney Container Examination facility and during the x-ray officers noted anomalies in the contents of the container.

A physical examination of the sea container revealed 127 boxes hidden behind a large amount of furniture, which contained 1,266 kilograms of a brown substance.


Presumptive testing of the substance gave a positive result for ephedrine, a precursor used in the manufacture of the drug methamphetamine or ‘ice’.

That amount of ephedrine is capable of producing approximately one tonne of methamphetamine, which would have a street value of around $750m.

On 16 September ABF investigators conducted a managed delivery of the container to a warehouse in the suburb of Roselands, in Sydney’s south-west.

Later that day, two men were observed accessing the container and were arrested. Each has been charged with one count of Import Commercial Quantity of Border Controlled Precursor in contravention of s.307.11(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for that offence is 25 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,050,000, or both.