Man charged over alleged internal drug concealment in WA

A West Australian man is expected to face Perth Magistrates Court today (8 March, 2024) charged with allegedly importing a substance, suspected to be heroin, concealed internally.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected the man, 38, for an examination due to suspicions around his behaviour when he arrived at Perth Airport early yesterday morning (7 March, 2024) on a flight from Asia.

ABF then alerted AFP officers, who took the man to hospital to undertake a medical scan, which allegedly revealed the presence of a pellet in his body.

The man later excreted one pellet, which police suspect contains heroin.

Testing will be done to establish if the substance is illicit drugs and determine the weight and purity level.

Police will allege the man inserted the pellet into his body before boarding his international flight to return home to Australia.

The man has been charged with one count of 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.

AFP Acting Commander Peter Hatch said the AFP and ABF worked closely together to ensure Australia’s airports were not used as part of a criminal supply chain.

“This arrest comes just three weeks after the AFP charged two other West Australians who allegedly tried to smuggle illicit drugs into Australia concealed internally,” A/Commander Hatch said.

“Again, we see the disgusting way that people try to smuggle items into Australia.

“Illicit drugs cause immense harm to the community, through associated crime, road crashes and the demands on the health system and the AFP and ABF are working hard to stop illegal substances from reaching our communities.”

ABF Acting Superintendent Brett Hennessy said internal concealment was not only a reckless way to attempt to import illicit substances into Australia, it was also extremely dangerous to a person’s health.

“Border Force officers are trained to examine more than just baggage, we observe a passenger’s demeanour and behaviour, and how they interact with other passengers and crew members,” he said.

“ABF officers work every day to protect passengers, crew members, and the wider Australian community from the harms and dangers which illicit drugs bring.”