Passenger charged over 8kg heroin import at Melbourne Airport
This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force
Editor’s note: Images are available via Hightail
A Thai national has been charged for allegedly importing about 8kg of heroin, after authorities discovered the illicit drugs inside the passenger’s bags upon her arrival off a flight into Melbourne International Airport.
The woman, 28, arrived in Melbourne on an international flight from China on Monday 4 September, 2023, and was selected for a baggage examination by ABF officers.
During the search, officers identified a white substance within the lining of a hessian tote-bag, which returned a presumptive positive result for heroin.
Upon further examination, ABF officers identified 32 vacuum-sealed bags containing around 8kg of heroin located in the woman’s luggage.
This amount of heroin has an estimated street value of $3.4 million and the equivalent of about 80,000 street deals.
The matter was reported to the AFP for investigation.
AFP officers arrested the passenger in the terminal and seized the illicit drugs.
The woman was subsequently charged with the following offences:
Importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin, contrary to section 307.1, of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.
The Thai national appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday 4 September, 2023, and was remanded in custody to reappear again on 15 December 2023.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Amanda Glover said the AFP works closely with its state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners to stop illicit drugs from reaching our communities.
“This is a brazen attempt to import harmful, illicit drugs into our country,” said Det-Act-Supt Glover said.
“We know the significant impact heroin and other illicit drugs have on our communities.”
"By intercepting and seizing eight kilograms of illicit drugs, law enforcement has prevented harm not only for individuals, but also for our hospitals, first responders and frontline workers who deal with the effects of illicit drug use.”
ABF Superintendent Kelly-anne Parish, Aviation Travellers, said: “Individuals attempting to bring illicit substances such as heroin into the community will be intercepted and brought to justice.
“ABF officers utilise a range of skills and detection tools to successfully identify and disrupt criminals attempting to conceal drugs in tote-bags or other types of luggage.
“Our message to people who engage in this type of criminal activity is clear: if you intend to smuggle drugs across the border, don’t do it because we will stop you and you will be prosecuted.”
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at counsellingonline.org.au.
For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to turningpoint.org.au.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297