The Australian Border Force (ABF) has charged a man after he was arrested outside a service station following an investigation into the alleged illegal importation of precursors which are used to manufacture deadly drugs.

A 30-year-old Chinese national unlawfully in Australia was arrested by ABF officers on the corner Burwood Highway and Blackburn Road in Melbourne’s east at approximately 11:30AM on Wednesday 20 December 2023 after he was allegedly observed picking up a package imported into Australia from Hong Kong containing four kilograms of pseudoephedrine from a parcel locker.

This follows an ABF investigation, which commenced in November 2023 into three importations of pseudoephedrine into Melbourne concealed in items declared as “towels” and “clothing”. ABF alleges a total of 10 kilograms has been imported by this person over the period.

Pseudoephedrine is commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, also known as ice, and is an extremely addictive and deadly illicit drug.

In October 2023, 622 kilograms of methamphetamine was detected by ABF Victoria in a sea cargo container of toilet rolls sent from Malaysia – the second largest onshore detection of meth this year.

Also in October, 280 kilograms of precursors were detected by ABF officers across Australia.

ABF Superintendent Regional Investigations Simone Mendes said the ABF is constantly vigilant to the methods criminals use to try to illegally import precursors and drugs into the country.

“The ABF cannot put it more simply than to say those who intend to import harmful substances, across the border, and into the community will be stopped,” Superintendent Mendes said.

“Methamphetamine and other drugs have a devastating impact on individuals and our communities, which is why we are committed to prosecuting those responsible for importing it into Australia.

“The ABF continues to contribute to Operation Vitreus. This multi-jurisdictional operation targets organised crime groups and individuals who produce, supply, and distribute illicit drugs and precurors. Along with our law enforcement and intelligence partners, the ABF will continue to fight against criminals who seek to import precursors across Australia’s border.”

Members of the community are encouraged to report suspicious border-related activity through Border Watch at By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border and the community. Reports can be made anonymously.


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