Media Release: Woman charged with importing methamphetamine in backpacks

Release Date: Monday, May 27 2013, 09:03 AM

This is a joint media release with the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

A 41-year-old New Zealand national is scheduled to appear in Darwin Magistrates Court today charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with importing methamphetamine into Australia.

Two unaccompanied suitcases arrived at Darwin International Airport on a flight from Cambodia via Singapore on Friday 24 May 2013.

During an examination of the suitcases, Australian Customs and Border Protection officers conducted a swab analysis which returned a positive reading for narcotics.

Customs and Border Protection officers opened the suitcases and located seven empty backpacks. Further examination of the backpacks revealed an off-white crystal substance concealed within the back padding.

Presumptive testing of the substance returned a positive reading for methamphetamine. The suitcases were then handed over to the AFP for further investigation and forensic analysis.

The estimated weight of methamphetamine contained within the seven empty backpacks is 8.5 kilograms.

The two suitcases were confirmed to be those of the 41-year-old New Zealand national who had arrived into Darwin International Airport on a flight from Cambodia via Singapore on Thursday 23 May 2013. AFP officers executed a search warrant at a hotel in Darwin and the woman was later located in the Darwin CBD.

After participating in a police interview, the woman was charged with importing a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $340,000 fine.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Customs and Border Protection Communication and Media (02) 6275 6793