Importing or Exporting Precursors
What is Import or Export Border Controlled Precursor?
Under Section 307.11-13 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995, it is an offence to Import or Export a border controlled precursor.
A controlled precursor can be defined as a chemical substance used to make illegal drugs.
To import means to bring a border controlled substance into the country from overseas. The package needs to arrive from a foreign country, and a delivery point must exist. With the increase use of the “Dark Web” for the purchase of illegal substances, importation can simply occur at the moment when goods pass through a Customs warehouse or checkpoint, or when the package is picked up by a person, or finally if the package has arrived at the destination of someone’s home.
What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):
That the accused imported or exported a substance; and
That substance was a border controlled precursor; and
There is evidence that there was an intention to use the substance to manufacture a border controlled drug; or
There is evidence that there was an intention that the substances would be passed off to another person for them to manufacture a border controlled drug
The Prosecution will also need to prove the weight of the precursor as there is a significant difference between the penalties for the import/export of a small, marketable or commercial quantity. There will need to be evidence of the actual importing process taking place, and this can be done through various forms of evidence such as phone intercepts, identification footage, witness testimony.
An accused’s prospects of successfully defending this charge will be increased if the Crown case is based on only one witness testimony and especially if that witness giving the evidence is a former associate who has turned informant and is now giving evidence against fellow syndicate members. The reliability of such witness would come under intense scrutiny by the Defence. Any ambiguous phone intercepts or text messages would also come under close analysis.
In order to beat this charge, the accused must also establish that he or she had a reasonable and honest belief that the substance imported or exported was not a border controlled drug or plant.
Intention is an important element that needs to be considered for a possible defence. A lack of commercial intention would show that the accused did not intend to sell any of the precursor, nor had the knowledge that such substances would be used to manufacture the illegal drugs. If a person imported the substance without knowledge of what the substance was, and was acting simply with recklessness in their importation, they will not be found guilty. Contact Lawyer Call and discuss with one of our Senior Defence solicitors some of the available options.
What is conspiracy?
A majority of importation cases involving large amounts, the Prosecution may rely on evidence that an agreement existed to import a precursor into the country, and the intention to import was made clear in that agreement between the individuals. If the Prosecution relies on the conspiracy provisions found within the Commonwealth Criminal Code, there does not need to be evidence of an actual importation, but simply evidence of an agreement being in place. If you have been charged under the Conspiracy Provisions, contact Lawyer Call immediately, as this is a very delicate and serious matter where expert advice is strongly recommended.
The Prosecution will also need to prove the weight of the precursor substance as there is a significant difference between the penalties for the import/export of a small, marketable or commercial quantity.
In order to beat this charge, the accused must establish that he or she had a reasonable and honest belief that the substance imported or exported was not a border controlled precursor, or that they did not have the knowledge that such a substance will be used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.
Going to Court – "What am I looking at?"
In importation/exportation cases, the weight of the particular precursor is important in determining what charge will be laid.
The penalties for the Importation of a Border Controlled Precursor are very serious and can range significantly.
Contact Lawyer Call today and speak to an expert Drug Lawyer today.