Luggage concealment leaves bad taste

A 33-year-old man has been charged with allegedly smuggling 450mls of Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) into Sydney Airport in his luggage.

The Australian man was returning from a trip to Europe when he was intercepted by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Sydney Airport following a referral from the Border Watch programme.

Examination of the man’s luggage revealed a mouthwash bottle full of a liquid which tested positive for GBL. GBL, also known as ‘coma in a bottle’ can cause abrupt loss of consciousness, memory loss, respiratory difficulties, coma and death.

The man was subsequently arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers.

GBL is relatively low cost and is having an increasingly negative effect on the community, particularly in regional areas.

Acting ABF Regional Commander NSW, Brett Totten, said this a great example of the value that the public can add to intelligence gathering.

“We obviously work closely with law enforcement and intelligence agencies here and overseas to inform our border intelligence, but sometimes all it takes is a report from a member of public.”

“Even the smallest piece of information can potentially lead to the unravelling of a major crime syndicate. It has stopped a dangerous drug from reaching the public.”

“Every allegation received from the community is taken seriously and acted on where necessary.”

Anyone with information about the import or export of drugs, weapons, wildlife smuggling, illicit tobacco or immigration and visa fraud, should report it to Border Watch online at

Source: Australian Border Force

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