Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Yunhui XUE - Drug Importation

Illegal Imports and Exports
New South Wales

On 27 July 2018, Yunhui Xue, a 26-year-old Chinese national who had overstayed his student visa, was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment for smuggling 11.32kg of ephedrine contained in two consignments into Australia.

On 16 December 2016, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials x-rayed a consignment of eight spotlights at Mascot Airport, which had been sent from Guangzhou in China. When they took the lights apart, inside each they found a light coloured grainy substance wrapped in carbon paper, which tested positive as ephedrine—a precursor used to manufacture methamphetamine.

On 19 December 2016, ABF officials detained a second consignment with address details identical to the first. The officers took the consignment apart and found it contained ephedrine concealed in an esky. The officers then repackaged the consignment and tracked its delivery, while New South Wales Police intercepted Xue’s mobile phone calls. They overheard him organising the delivery of the drugs to an address in Homebush West NSW.

On 28 February 2017, NSW Police and ABF officers searched the offender’s home and arrested Yunhui Xue.


On 27 July 2018, Yunhui Xue was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 3 years and 4 months, in relation to:

  • 1 charge of importing a commercial quantity of border controlled precursor contrary to s307.11(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The sentence was backdated to 28 February 2017 when XUE entered custody following his arrest. He will be eligible for release on 27 June 2020.

As Xue is an illegal non-citizen—he had overstayed his visa at the time of his arrest—he will likely be deported following his release.

Xue provided a letter to the court expressing his remorse and gave evidence to that effect.