Austrian woman, 27, charged after allegedly swallowing illicit drugs

The traveller was detained after Australian Border Force officers examined her baggage in Perth.

The traveller was detained after Australian Border Force officers examined her baggage in Perth. Photo: AAP

An Austrian woman who allegedly swallowed more than a hundred cocaine-filled pellets before flying to Australia is the third person to be charged with importing internally concealed drugs in the past two months.

The 27-year-old allegedly ingested 124 pellets with a combined weight of about one kilogram, the Australian Federal Police said on Sunday.

It also alleged the woman excreted and re-swallowed eight of the pellets during her travel.

She is the latest traveller to be charged after Australian Border Force officers selected her for a baggage examination when she arrived at Perth International Airport from Europe on February 11.

The woman was taken to Royal Perth Hospital, where she excreted the pellets under medical supervision.

She was charged with one count of importing a marketable quantity of cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment.

The woman appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody to reappear on March 10.

The AFP and Border Force have caught and charged three foreign travellers since December for allegedly smuggling cocaine concealed internally.

An Irish national was charged in December after he allegedly imported about 120 grams of cocaine into Melbourne inside six Kinder Surprise capsules he had ingested.

A Portuguese man was caught a few days later when he flew into Sydney and allegedly attempted to import about 1.6 kilograms of cocaine that he was carrying internally.

ABF Superintendent Vesna Gavranich said anyone attempting to import illicit substances by internal concealment was not only putting their freedom in danger but risked a fatal drug overdose or permanent damage to their internal organs.

“This type of disgusting behaviour is not worth the risk to your life,” she said.

AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the arrests had saved the community more than $1.75 million in drug-related harm, including associated crime, healthcare and loss of productivity.


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