Drug chemicals masquerading as baby powder found

AN ATTEMPT to smuggle 2kg of the chemical used to make drugs like "ice" into Australia has been foiled by Customs and Border Security officers.

The officers made the discovery in Sydney last week after examining an air cargo package that had arrived from the United Kingdom.

Inside the package the officers found two bottles marked "baby powder" and two packets of Dead Sea bath salts, all of which contained the precursor chemical ephedrine.

Ephedrine is used to manufacture dangerous and illegal amphetamine-type substances, and importing it without a permit is prohibited.

Customs and Border Protection national manager cargo operations Jagtej Singh said the seizure highlighted the wide variety of concealments officers often see.

"This year alone, we have uncovered drugs and illicit chemicals built into safes, kitchen utensils and lengths of industrial cable, concealed in food using fish paste, rice flour, wine, and hidden in other everyday items."