The drug manufacturing process involves mixing, breaking down or changing the structure of precursor substances using other chemicals and heat sources, and this creates unusual odours. In particular, Drug Squad detectives often notice a strong acetone smell when attending Ice labs.
Chemical containers and waste
Clandestine drug laboratories create a lot of toxic waste, and it’s often stored onsite in buckets or dumped nearby. That’s not to mention the chemical storage containers often found discarded in or around lab sites.
Blacked out windows
Drug manufacturers will often cover or black out the windows, either with window coverings or foil, to hide their illicit activity from the neighbours.
Hoses and pipes in strange places
Many drug manufacturers will use household items to make their drugs, including hoses, pipes and containers bought from hardware stores. An excess of these types of items around a property could be a sign of illicit activity taking place.
Vehicles arriving at odd hours
Criminals don’t just work during business hours. The drug manufacturing process requires regular checking, so it’s not uncommon for those involved in the manufacture of Ice to come and go. Unusual vehicle movements could also be a sign of drug supply occurring at a property.
Source: NSW Police