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Pre-Trafficking of Controlled Precursors

Pre-Trafficking of Controlled Precursors is an offence under Section 306.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You pre-trafficked a controlled precursor, and
  2. You knew, or were reckless as to whether, the substance was a controlled precursor

You ‘pre-trafficked’ a substance if you:

  1. Sold it believing the buyer intended to use any of it to manufacture a controlled drug
  2. Manufactured it intending to use any of it to manufacture a controlled drug and to sell any of that drug, or believing another person intended to sell any of that drug, or
  3. Manufactured it intending to sell any of it to another person believing the other person would use any of it to manufacture a controlled drug, or
  4. Possessed it intending to use any of it to manufacture a controlled drug intending to sell any of that drug, or believing another would sell any of that drug

You are presumed to have pre-trafficked if:

  1. You sold, manufactured or possessed a controlled precursor
  2. The law required that sale, manufacture or possession to be authorised, and
  3. The sale, manufacture or possession was not authorised

That presumption if rebutted if you are able to establish, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that you did not intend for or believe any of the substance would be used to manufacture a controlled drug.

You were ‘reckless’ as to whether a substance was a controlled precursor if you were aware it was likely that the substance was such but went ahead with your actions regardless.

Examples of controlled precursors are:

  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone
  • ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine
  • Isosafrole, Piperonal, Phenylacetic acid and Phenyl-2-propanone

A defence to the charge is ‘duress’, which is where:

  1. Your actions were due to a threat of death or serious injury to you and/or a family member
  2. There was no reasonable way for you to render the threat ineffective, and
  3. Your conduct was a reasonable response to the threat

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