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04 October 2023, 5:17pm
Media Release

Taiwanese traveller charged over ketamine in suitcase

This is a joint media release with the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

Editor’s note: Images of the seized drugs available via Hightail

A Taiwanese national has faced Brisbane Magistrates Court today (Wednesday 4 October, 2023) after allegedly attempting to import ketamine hidden inside their luggage.

The man, 33, arrived on a flight from Taiwan into Brisbane International Airport yesterday morning (Tuesday 3 October, 2023), and was selected by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers for a baggage examination.

ABF officers allegedly located two vitamin bottles inside the man’s suitcase, which contained hundreds of white and orange capsules with a combined weight of about 250g.

It was alleged in court that presumptive testing of the pills returned a positive result for ketamine and the matter was then referred to the AFP.

This amount of ketamine has an estimated street value of $50,000 and equates to 2,500 individual street deals.

Further forensic testing will be undertaken by the AFP to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.

AFP officers charged the man with attempting to import border controlled drugs, namely ketamine, contrary to sections 307.3 and 11.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.

The Taiwanese national faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court today (4 October 2023). No application for bail was made at this time and he is due to face court again on 19 October 2023.

AFP Detective Acting Inspector Tim Murphy said the AFP continued to work closely with the ABF at airports to stop illicit drugs before they reach our communities.

“The AFP is determined to target, identify and disrupt criminals attempting to import harmful illicit substances into our country,” Det-Act Insp Murphy said.

“We are committed to using every resource available to bring offenders to justice.”

ABF Commander James Copeman said officers at the airport harness their training, intuition and the latest technology to continue to detect illicit drugs at Australia’s border.

“Ketamine is a dangerous sedative and known in the community as a ‘date-rape’ drug, so every detection by ABF officers helps to protect the community from potential harm,” Commander Copeman said.

If you require police presence at an airport, or wish to report an incident or provide information please call the AFP’s Airport Watch on 131 AFP (131 237).

Note to media:

Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.

  • For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
  • Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at
  • For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to

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