A 74-year-old Cabramatta woman has appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court charged with allegedly importing around 7kg of heroin concealed in her luggage.
The woman was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Melbourne Airport on Friday after arriving on a flight from Thailand.
“ABF officers allegedly discovered anomalies in the woman’s luggage and on further examination, located about 7kg of a substance hidden in a hammock,” Australian Federal Police and ABF said in a joint statement.
“A presumptive test of the substance by ABF officers returned a positive result for heroin. Further forensic testing will be undertaken by the AFP to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.”
The AFP arrested the woman and charged her with importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled substance.
She was remanded in custody. The maximum penalty for the offences is life imprisonment.
AFP Detective Inspector Chris Salmon said the AFP worked with the ABF to protect the Australian community from the devastating impact of illicit drugs.
“This amount of heroin could have accounted for about 35,000 individual hits of heroin, had it reached the Australian community,” Detective Inspector Salmon said.
“This arrest should serve as a clear warning to anyone attempting to bring illicit drugs into Australia – you will be caught and you will be brought before the court.”
ABF Acting Superintendent Aviation Travellers Ian Beasant said those attempting to import illicit drugs should not underestimate the intuition of ABF officers at the border.
“The Australian border is one of our most critical national assets, and our officers are continuing to make it a hostile environment for criminals trying to import illicit substances,” A/Supt Beasant said.
“Regardless of the way in which they try to bring illicit substances into the country, our officers – along with our law enforcement partners – are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year in order to stop it before it poisons our community.”