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Chemical camouflage: illicit drug concealment using di-tert-butyldicarbonate.


The addition of the protecting group di-tert-butyldicarbonate to an illicit drug, such as methamphetamine, forms a new N-tert-butoxycarbonyl (t-BOC) derivative. By altering the chemical structure in this way, concealment of the drug can be achieved as routine detection techniques may not be able to identify the new substance. A recent seizure of a liquid at the New Zealand border was found to contain t-BOC-methamphetamine, indicating the use of this new concealment technique for the distribution and importation of illicit drugs.

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