Police stop 26kgs of GBL reaching Queensland streets

A Queensland man is due to face Brisbane Magistrates court today (Thursday, 14 November) charged with allegedly importing 26.3 kilograms of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), after police intercepted a package of the dangerous liquid precursor chemical, referred to as ‘coma in a bottle’.

The consignment from China was x-rayed by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers working at Air Cargo Operations in Brisbane. Examination by the ABF revealed a large drum containing over 26 kilograms of clear liquid which returned a presumptive positive result for GBL.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, working with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), arrested the 33-year-old man after executing a search warrant at a home in Crestmead yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 13 November).

The 33-year-old man has been charged with:

  • One count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs (being GBL), contrary to section 307.8 of the Criminal Code 1995 Cth).

The offence can carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

GBL – also known as liquid ecstasy, fantasy or ‘coma in a bottle’ – can be fatal or have severe side-effects, even in tiny doses, and can lead to drug dependency.

AFP Detective Superintendent Matthew Gale said the charging of the man represented a success of law enforcement working together to keep the potentially fatal drug out of circulation.

“The AFP works with our partners at a state and Commonwealth level to detect and disrupt the supply of dangerous drugs into our community,” Detective Superintendent Gale said.

“Australian authorities can, and will continue to combat the movement of illicit drugs across international borders and this represents another success for our investigators.”

ABF Acting Regional Commander QLD Julie Pettrey said this consignment was an example of effective ABF targeting to detect drug smuggling efforts.

“Two of the most common precursors we detect at the border are ephedrine, which is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine or ‘ice’, and GBL which is used in the manufacture of ‘liquid ecstasy’,” Acting Commander Pettrey said.

“ABF employs a range of capabilities, including intelligence sharing, our world class detector dogs and cutting edge x-ray scanning technology in order to identify and seize these illegal importations, regardless of methodology or scale.

“This is another great detection by ABF officers, and a good win for joined up law enforcements efforts,” Acting Commander Pettrey added.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Media enquiries: AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.