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R v Millevoi [2021] NSWDC 578

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 1 count of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled substance, and 1 count of trafficking a commercial quantity f a border-controlled substance. Count 1 related to 7.29kg of pure gamma-butyrolactone. Count 2 related to 21.29kg of pure gamma-butyrolactone.  

Nature and Circumstances: GBL is contained in eyelash remover made in China. Offender had previously operated a legitimate business that imported and sold liquid and gel versions of false eyelash glue remover. Offender legitimately operated a business for 7 years with an honest and reasonable belief in the legality of their trading and without any awareness of the GBL in the products. From 6 February 2019, the offender stumbled into the offending. There is no evidence of customers’ actual illicit use of offender’s products after purchase. The offender did not sell the Liquid or Gel for the reason of it being put to illicit use by others. All of the subject transactions were properly documented and accounted as regular commercial business. The period of offending occurred for around 3 weeks. Offender was legitimate business person unwittingly acting as a gateway for an unknown illicit clientele. Objective seriousness for both counts is at the very low end of the spectrum of offending.  

Extra-Curial Punishment: Local media described offender’s actions as hiding drugs in eyelash glue removal. Offender’s staff left. Offender was required to sell home, had their bank accounts frozen and technology seized. Publicity exaggerated criminal conduct.  

Contrition: Offender has since located GBL free product. Offender asked Officer In Charge to collect the first shipment and have it tested. The offender did not trade in it until police gave them clearance to do so. In this way, whilst the offender has not repaired injury caused by offending, they have taken action representative of contrition.  

Character: The circumstances of offending were promoted by offender’s good character and standing in the community, other than to the extent that they operated a legitimate business in beautician products.  

Intensive Correction Order: The paramount consideration of community safety and whether full time detention is more likely to address the offender’s reoffending is readily relieved. Sentence by way of ICO meets the importance of general deterrence and sentence designed according to individual justice in the unique circumstances of the offending.  

Offender sentenced to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment to be served by way of intensive correction order. Offender fined $10,000.
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