Fri, 30 Oct 2020

French drug courier jailed for WA airport heroin bust

Australian Federal Police
18 Sep 2020, 21:04 GMT+10

This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

A 55-year-old man was sentenced to four-and-a-half years' jail by the Perth District Court yesterday (Thursday, 17 September) for importing approximately 179 grams of heroin wrapped in five pellets concealed inside his body.

The French national was arrested in Western Australia on 27 February 2020, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected him for an examination when he arrived in Perth on a flight from Bangkok.

Nothing illegal was found in his luggage but swabs taken of his mobile phone allegedly revealed traces of LSD.

ABF officers then arranged for a non-medical body scan, which returned a positive indication of internal concealment.

The man was referred to the Australian Federal Police and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he passed five pellets that weighed 270 grams.

The heroin inside weighed approximately 179 grams, which is worth approximately $89,500. The seizure prevented approximately 1790 'street level' deals reaching the Perth community.

Forensic analysis by the AFP determined the drugs had a 67 per cent purity, which calculated the total pure weight of the heroin at 119.8 grams.

The 55-year-old pleaded guilty on 24 April to one count of importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

His sentence was backdated to the day of his arrest and he will become eligible for parole in October 2022.

The man, who had been living in Thailand, claimed he was coming to Australia for a holiday. He will likely be deported on his release from prison.

Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact BorderWatch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia's border. Information can be provided anonymously.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244

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