Police Brief: Four arrested following pseudoephedrine detection

Two men from Clyde are facing drug trafficking charges following the seizure of 50 kilograms of pseudoephedrine on Thursday 29 September which had been imported into Melbourne via airfreight.

Detectives from the Clandestine Laboratory Squad arrested four people at two addresses in Clyde and Keysborough shortly after 5pm on Thursday, after Victoria Police Detectives and ABF Investigators executed warrants.

Victoria Police and the Australian Border Force (ABF) began a joint investigation, after a detection of the border-controlled precursor on 23 September, which was concealed within a consignment that had been imported from India.

Along with the 50kg of pseudoephedrine, police also seized an additional two kilograms of pseudoephedrine concealed in rolling pins, one kilogram of methylamphetamine as well as records pertaining to drug importation from the Clyde property.

A seizure this size could have been used to manufacture an estimated 37 kilograms of methylamphetamine, police say.

Detectives arrested two men at Melbourne Airport on Thursday afternoon attempting to leave the country, who had about $20,000 cash between them.

Detective Inspector Anthony Vella, Clandestine Laboratory Squad said these arrests should serve as a “sobering reminder” to those facilitating the manufacture of illicit drugs, that police will actively target you.

“This is a significant seizure and one that highlights the ability of Victoria Police and the Australian Border Force to intercept precursor chemicals before they are used in the manufacture of illicit drugs,” Inspector Vella said.

“There may be a perception drugs can be easily concealed, however we have seen time and time again the ability of police and the Australian Border Force to detect and seize these substances.

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to target those involved in the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs and hold them to account.”

A 36-year-old Clyde man was charged with two counts of traffick large commercial quantity, while a 34-year-old from Clyde man was charged with one count of the same offence.

The duo has been remanded in custody and will next appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 19 January 2023.

A 26-year-old Cranbourne East man was released and is expected to be charged on summons, while a 40-year-old Dandenong man was released pending further enquiries.

Pseudoephedrine is a drug of dependence pursuant to the Drugs Poisons & Controlled Substances Act 1981, and a Commonwealth border-controlled precursor chemical.

Australian Border Force Inspector James Judge, ABF Investigations VIC/TAS said the ABF have intercepted may attempts to bring controlled drugs and precursors into Australia this year.

“We are alert to the different ways criminals try to conceal and move their drugs, and those considering bringing drugs into Australia would do well to remember that – or face the consequences.

“In addition to the harm illicit drug use causes directly to individuals, there are devastating social impacts on families, and significant health-care system costs.

“We continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop these drugs reaching our communities where they can cause so much damage.”

Anyone with information about illicit drug activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au

Members of the community who witness suspect border-related activity can also report it to Border Watch by visiting borderwatch.gov.au

Reports can be made anonymously.

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