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'Coma in a bottle': $10m seizure of party drug at Port Botany

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Authorities claim to have seized the equivalent of 500,000 hits of the "party drug" GBL, known on the streets as liquid ecstasy or "coma in a bottle", in the second largest seizure of the substance in the country's history.

Suspicious Australian Border Force investigators allegedly found 2000 litres of the drug gamma-butyrolactone in 10 large drums hidden within a shipping container full of 120 drums of "car pre-paint wash" when it arrived at Port Botany earlier this month.

A Warwick Farm man, 30, was arrested on Friday in relation to the alleged importation of $10 million worth of the drug ...
A Warwick Farm man, 30, was arrested on Friday in relation to the alleged importation of $10 million worth of the drug known as liquid ecstasy or 'coma in a bottle'. Photo: AFP

Australian Federal Police State Manager NSW Commander Chris Sheehan said despite users believing GBL was a harmless "party drug", the "reality were much more dangerous".

An x-ray of two of the large drums which allegedly contained the drug.
An x-ray of two of the large drums which allegedly contained the drug. Photo: AFP

"What people are actually ingesting is an industrial chemical solvent. The World Health Organization says it is the kind of substance commonly found in paint strippers, stain removers, and circuit board cleaners," Commander Sheehan said.

"This 'coma in a bottle' affects a person's consciousness – predators have used it to enable rape.  It is vital we continue to work with our partners at the border to stop any dangerous drug that can contribute to these sorts of crimes in our community."

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