Couple excrete more than dozen heroin pellets, charged at Perth airport

"Should you ever consider using illegal substances, just think about where they potentially come from."

A man and woman from Western Australia are expected to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on 23 February 2024 after the AFP charged them with allegedly importing about 255g of heroin concealed internally.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined their baggage after they arrived at Perth Airport on 14 February 2024 on an international flight from Asia.

Image: Heroin in pellets (Source: AFP)

ABF Acting Commander Vesna Gavranich said officers at the international airport were the first line of defence in detecting illicit drugs at the border.

“ABF officers are highly trained in detecting internal concealments and will stop passengers in their tracks to ensure these harmful drugs do not make their way into the community. It is both dangerous and extremely stupid to think this is some kind of failsafe method to conceal illicit drugs.”

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Examination of their mobile devices allegedly revealed images of what was believed to be illegal drugs and the man and woman, both 48, were referred to the AFP for further examination.

Scans identified the potential presence of internally concealed drugs and AFP officers transported the pair to hospital for further tests. The tests allegedly confirmed the presence of pellets in both of their bodies.

Image: Heroin in pellets (Source: AFP)

The man excreted six pellets allegedly containing heroin, with an estimated total weight of 115.4g, and the woman excreted seven pellets allegedly containing heroin, with an estimated total weight of 139.7g.

The combined weight of the seized drugs is 255.1g, which could have been sold as 1275 street deals, with an estimated total value of $127,500.

Image: Heroin in pellets (Source: AFP)

The AFP will allege the pair inserted the pellets in their bodies before traveling to Australia.

AFP Acting Commander Peter Hatch said anyone smuggling drugs internally was not only risking substantial jail time but also taking grave risks with their health.

“We know these pellets can burst in the stomach, or in other parts of the body, causing significant risk of a devastating overdose. Couriers are risking their own lives and face lengthy jail time if they are caught. It is just not worth it.”

Acting Commander Hatch added:

“This matter should serve as a salient warning to the community: this is your drug supply chain in action. Illicit drugs are not produced in sterile environments, and they’re certainly not transported in hygienic conditions. Should you ever consider using illegal substances, just think about where they potentially come from. In this situation the drugs sat in the colon of an alleged internal courier before they would have been sold and used.”

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The man and woman have each been charged with importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.2(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years’ imprisonment.

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