Internet sales of illicit substances circumvent Australian Customs

The internet has allowed makers and suppliers of ‘legal highs’ which may contain illicit substances, to sell their goods directly to the public online.

Sydney Morning Herald today reports that Australian Customs faces new problems with emerging technology, as it is difficult to monitor, and exposes a potentially wider section of the public to drugs.  Some of the pills are simply caffeine-based, whereas others contain ingredients such as ephedrine, one of the precursors of methamphetamine. They are sent through the post and Customs said “many packages are opened and assessed each day”, but not every package can be opened.

Customs does not have the legal authority to shut down online sites selling the drugs but has forced some of the websites to include import restrictions warnings.

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