Drug Importation

Drug importation – Import a commercial quantity of boarder controlled drug, namely cocaine

JURISDICTION: In the District Court of New South Wales

REPRESENTED BY: Ms Nicole Carroll of Counsel, instructed by George Sten & Co.

SUBJECT: Criminal Law – Drug importation – Import a commercial quantity of boarder controlled drug, namely cocaine – plea of not guilty – unsuspecting courier – found not guilty.

FACTS: The defendant, a U.S. Citizen travelled from Columbia to Australia via Chile and New Zealand. Upon arriving at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport the defendant underwent routine processing by Australian Customs and Boarder Protection Services. The defendant’s baggage was examined by Customs Officers and was found to contain two large red shopping bags containing chocolates and confectionary. An examination of one of the chocolates revealed that it was a constructed item containing what presumptive tests determined to be cocaine. AFP forensic examinations revealed that the chocolates and confectionary contained a total of 3.5233kg of pure cocaine.

The defendant revealed to police that a friend requested she collect a debt owed from Australia and return to Columbia. The luggage was given to the defendant by this friend for the purposes of the trip. The chocolates were given as part of the luggage.

Counsel for the defence argued that the defendant was taken advantage of and was an unsuspecting courier.

RESULT A jury of 12 found that the defendant was not guilty and she was subsequently released and returned to the U.S.

The maximum penalty for this offence being life imprisonment, 7,500 penalty units or both.