Australian Woman Treated In Hospital After Attempting To Import Heroin

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5th January 2009, 07:47pm - Views: 388

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5 January 2009 

Australian woman treated in hospital after attempting

to import heroin in stomach

A 45-year-old Prestons woman was charged in Alice Springs today with importing a

marketable quantity of heroin which she allegedly ingested.

The woman spent the weekend recovering after being rushed to Alice Springs

Hospital off a flight from Vietnam on New Year’s Eve.

A package alleged to contain heroin ruptured in her stomach during the flight from Ho

Chi Minh City.

The flight, bound for Sydney, was diverted to Alice Springs after the woman became

ill on board.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) met the plane and escorted the woman, along

with ambulance officers, to Alice Springs Hospital where doctors monitored her


The woman underwent emergency surgery to remove the packages from her

stomach and intestine after showing signs of overdose and her condition began to

rapidly deteriorate.

A 50-year-old Prestons man was also charged with internally concealing heroin and

faced Alice Springs Local Court on Friday.

Both the man and the woman have been remanded in custody.

The 45-year-old woman and the 50-year-old man are together alleged to have

internally concealed more than 250 grams of heroin.

They have both been charged with importing a marketable quantity of a border

controlled drug under section 307.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.

AFP National Manager Border and International Tim Morris said attempting to

smuggle drugs into Australia by swallowing them, was extremely dangerous and

could lead to death.

“No amount of money is worth dying for, this woman’s experience highlights the

dangers and risks Australians are taking when they ingest these drugs packages,”

Assistant Commissioner Morris said.

“A person could potentially lose their life as a result.”

Customs Acting National Director Passengers, Joan O’Reilly, said the AFP and

Customs were working vigilantly to protect Australia’s borders from illegal drug


“These drugs pose a serious health risk to the Australian community and, as we have

seen this week, can also have deadly consequences for those who attempt to

conceal the drugs internally,” Ms O’Reilly said.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $550,000 and/or 25 years


Media enquiries

Customs Media (02) 6275 6793

AFP National Media (02) 6275 7100

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