Sydney Times


‘Unchartered territory’: New synthetic drug imports rise

Written by Aksel Ritenis

‘Unchartered territory’: New synthetic drug imports rise

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

The AFP is warning the community of the dangers of synthetic illicit drugs, following a rise in the import of a new synthetic stimulant into Australia.

The AFP identified the concerning trend, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers began detecting a series of attempted imports of Dimethylpentylone.

Dimethylpentylone is an illicit and potentially dangerous synthetic stimulant that can cause a psychoactive effect similar to amphetamines.

The first recorded detection of Dimethylpentylone into Australia was in October, 2021.

ABF officers have since detected more than 50 attempted imports of Dimethylpentylone, including 44 consignments in 2022 alone. AFP officers have seized varying amounts of Dimethylpentylone sent via parcel post and air cargo, with consignments ranging from around almost 100 grams through to up to ten kilograms.

Dimethylpentylone has been identified and seized in both crystal and powder form. Investigations into the international origins and the criminal syndicates behind these attempted imports remain ongoing.

The synthetic stimulant Dimethylpentylone nicknamed ‘crystal’ or ‘Molly’ has a similar chemical structure to Methylone (MDMC) and is considered an analogue of that illicit drug, along with Pentylone and Butylone.

AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the new illicit synthetic stimulant could pose a significant risk to the Australian community.

“We have absolutely seen an increase in the attempted import of this drug, especially throughout 2022,” Commander Ferry said.

“The risk of serious harm or overdose with Dimethylpentylone is very real. We are warning the community that there is no such thing as a safe dosage when it comes to this drug.”

“The side-effects and any subsequent short-term and long-term dangers are all yet to be discovered because this is a relatively new synthetic drug. It remains largely unknown and untested – it is all unchartered territory.”

Commander Ferry said criminal syndicates attempting to import Dimethylpentylone would face the same significant penalties as any other illicit substance.

“The AFP will prosecute criminals and the syndicates selling analogues of illicit drugs, such as dimethylpentylone, with penalties matching the real illicit drugs themselves as outlined under Commonwealth law.”

“The AFP is working with its state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners to slam the brakes on these criminal syndicates attempting to expose Australians to this potentially dangerous and untested drug.”

ABF Commander Susan Drennan said ABF officers were aware of attempts by criminals to smuggle synthetic illicit drugs into Australia.

“It doesn’t matter if it is well known illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine, or new synthetic stimulants such as Dimethylpentylone, ABF officers use sophisticated methods to detect these illicit substances at the border,” Commander Drennan said.

“Criminals might think they can get lesser known synthetic drugs past our border controls, but they are sorely mistaken.

“The ABF is always on the lookout for prohibited items being smuggled into the country and is committed to protecting Australians from harmful drugs.

“We work closely with our law enforcement partners every day to stop these illicit substances getting into the community.”

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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