Police in Sydney seized 174 kilograms (384 pounds) of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the illicit drug crystal methamphetamine, smuggled among boxes of coffee in a sea container from Vietnam.
A 25-year-old man and a 44-year-old man are scheduled to appear before Sydney Central Local Court today charged with importing and attempting to possess the drugs, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service said in a statement on its website today.
The prohibited goods, which entered Port Botany on Aug. 9, have an estimated street value of A$46 million ($41 million), customs officials said. The pseudoephedrine was capable of producing more than 130 kilograms of crystal meth or “ice,” said Mick Kelsey, deputy manager of the Australian Federal Police’s Sydney office.
The two men have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor. The maximum penalty for the importation offences is 25 years imprisonment and/or a A$550,000 fine.
By Jason Gale
Aug 17, 2010
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