Sydney Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Pseudoephedrine Smuggling, AFP Disrupts International Drug Operation

Australia, Police

Article: A Sydney man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his involvement in a plot to import 127kg of pseudoephedrine into the city. The 39-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor and dealing with suspected proceeds of crime. The arrest was the result of Operation Ironside, a covert investigation into organized crime syndicates using an encrypted communications device named AN0M to traffic drugs and weapons into Australia.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) successfully disrupted a plan to smuggle the precursor from India into Australia, thanks to intelligence obtained during the operation. Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified the consignment, labeled as denim material, during an examination in October 2020. Inside the packages wrapped in fabric, they discovered 155kg of a compressed white crystalline substance. AFP forensic analysis later confirmed it as pseudoephedrine, with a pure quantity of 127kg.

In June 2021, AFP officers executed search warrants at the man’s residence in East Hills and another in Casula. During the searches, officers seized a Louis Vuitton backpack containing $14,000 cash, a plastic bag with $110,000 cash, and three electronic devices. The AFP estimates that the seized pseudoephedrine could have been used to manufacture approximately 95kg of methamphetamine, with a street value of around $80 million.

The man received a seven-year jail sentence, with a non-parole period of three years and six months. Additionally, the $124,000 seized during the search warrants was forfeited to the Commonwealth. The successful disruption of this international drug operation highlights the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies worldwide to combat drug trafficking and protect communities from the harmful effects of illicit drugs.

The AFP encourages media outlets to include help-seeking information in stories related to illicit drugs to minimize any negative impact on the community. Support and information services are available to those in need. Journalists can contact the AFP during office hours, and a rostered officer is available outside those hours.

Operation Ironside’s success demonstrates the AFP’s commitment to ensuring Australia becomes a hostile environment for drug traffickers, preventing them from profiting at the expense of the community. By sharing information and collaborating with international partners, law enforcement agencies aim to keep Australia safe from the scourge of illegal drugs.

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