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Australia's second biggest ecstasy haul made in Sydney.



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Media Release

SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON

Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for Western Australia

E35/03 10 April 2003

Australia’s second biggest ecstasy haul made in Sydney

Australia’s second largest ecstasy seizure has been made by the Australian Federal Police and Customs in Sydney, the Minister for Justice and Customs Senator Chris Ellison said today.

Senator Ellison said the AFP had this week charged two people in connection with the seizure of 157 kilograms of ecstasy, which had an estimated potential street value of $37 million.

Senator Ellison said approximately 532,000 tablets of ecstasy had been prevented from entering the Australian community due to outstanding work by Commonwealth law enforcement agencies.

“This ecstasy seizure again demonstrates the effectiveness of Australia’s law enforcement efforts to disrupt the trafficking of potentially lethal drugs to Australia,” Senator Ellison said.

“Ecstasy is a drug of concern due to its growing usage and this major seizure by the AFP and Customs is therefore all the more significant.

“Commonwealth law enforcement is continuing the good work that was acknowledged in February 2003 by the International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) Report 2002.”

Senator Ellison said Customs officers, acting on inquiries initiated by the AFP, had located the narcotics after conducting detailed analysis of cargo movements.

“The new Customs container x-ray facility in Sydney assisted in locating this massive quantity of ecstasy in four crates of equipment imported from Germany by airfreight in early February,” Senator Ellison said.

The 157kgs of ecstasy tablets were substituted with an inert substance and the delivery of the crates was monitored by the AFP, first to a freight forwarding agency in Sydney and, on Tuesday, to a garage at a unit block in Syndney’s southern suburbs. The AFP arrested two men yesterday after the men allegedly attended the garage and tried to disassemble the crates.

A 28-year-old Australian from Bondi and a 29-year-old Greek national from Bass Hill have been charged with attempting to possess a prohibited import. They will appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court today.

In December 2002, a haul of 235kg of ecstasy in Sydney became the biggest ever ecstasy seizure in Australia.

Media inquiries: Mairi Barton Ph 02/6277 7260 or 0439 300 335