French drug courier jailed for WA airport heroin bust

A 55-year-old man was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ jail by the Perth District Court 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 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.