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It is reported that a 63-year-old man has allegedly imported $675,000 worth of liquid MDMA inside wine bottles into Australia.

An air cargo consignment containing  wine bottles arrived in Sydney from the UK on Xmas day. The consignment which was declared to contain wine bottles, was found by Australian Border Force (ABF) with anomalies prompting an examination.

The liquid contained within was tested and returned a positive presumptive result for MDMA.

The consignment was immediately seized, and a controlled delivery operation was conducted for purposes of ascertaining the intended recipient for purposes of the investigation.

As a result, the 63-year-old man from Bankstown was arrested on Lang Rd, Moore Park on Friday morning.

A Woollahra restaurant and Bankstown home was subsequently searched, when officers discovered and seized over $25,800 cash and electronic devices.

The Bankstown man was charged with possession of commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs at the Surry Hills Police Station, and refused bail.

“Importation” under the criminal law in NSW is when a border-controlled drug arrives into Australia from overseas, where it is then delivered at a location where it results in it to stay in Australia.

A person charged with importing border controlled drugs can still be guilty if he/she wasn’t aware of the amount or specific border controlled drug that was imported, so long as he/she is aware of a substantial risk of it being a border-controlled drug at the time of it being imported into Australia. This has been reflected in the case of Keung v R (2008).

The penalties for importing border-controlled drugs depend on the, type of drug and quantity of the drugs, also known as the weight category, namely, either marketable or commercial quantity. Anything that doesn’t fit within either of these two quantities is considered any other quantity.

Importing commercial quantity of border-controlled drug prescribes a maximum of life imprisonment or fine of $1,575,000, or both, according to section 307.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

MDMA under the Commonwealth law, a border-controlled drug, under Clause 1 of Schedule 2 of the Criminal Code Regulations 2019 (Cth).

The marketable quantity of MDMA is at least 100g – less than 500g.

The commercial quantity of MDMA is at least 500g or more.

If the prosecution have a difficult time proving that a person knew that it was a border-controlled drug, he/she may nonetheless be guilty of possessing a border-controlled drug if he/she had knowledge of its existence to the extent that he/she had exclusive custody or control over it to the exclusion of anyone else, not acting in concert, and he/she was aware that the substance was unlawfully imported, and was aware that at the time of being imported, there was a real or significant chance that it was a border-controlled drug’.

This attract up to the same life sentence and fine as that of importing if the drug is a commercial quantity.

AUTHOR Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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