Police allege Chinese students have been used to import an illegal pharmaceutical that could have made $300 million worth of ‘‘ice’’ in clandestine laboratories at Parramatta and Burwood.
ContactNT, which is a cold and flu medication which is illegal in Australia, has been imported for use in illegal meth labs, police said, with Chinese students caught up in the racket.
Watch raw video of the operation, provided by Police Media, below:
A director at Customs and Border Protection, Roxanne Kelley, said international students caught importing illegal drugs would be prosecuted.
‘‘We have noticed a pattern of international students, particularly those from China, being offered money to pick up what they think is a harmless package,’’ Ms Kelley said.
‘‘Our warning to these people is: if you don’t know what’s in a package, don’t pick it up.
‘‘If we catch you collecting a package containing illegal precursor drugs you will be charged and could face serious fines, or even jail time.’’
ContactNT contains high levels of pseudoephedrine, which is used to make the methamphetamine known as ice.
Over the past year and a half, police and border security officers made 347 seizures of ContacNT, weighing about 1365 kilograms in total.
The drug could have been used to make more than 400kg of ice, police allege, worth about $78 million ‘‘wholesale’’ or $300 million on the streets.
Police alleged the drugs were destined to be made in two illegal labs in Parramatta and Burwood, which have since been shut down.
A revolver, stun gun and $300,000 in cash were also seized and 10 men are before the courts on numerous charges including manufacture prohibited drugs and import prohibited drug, police said.
NSW Police assistant commissioner Mark Jenkins praised officers from the multi-agency taskforce for stopping the drug from hitting the streets.
‘‘The harm this drug does in the community is horrendous, and I have no doubt this operation has reduced its availability in this state,’’ he said.