Pensioners caught trafficking 22 pounds of crystal meth

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An elderly man and woman from Germany have been charged with importing drugs after they were caught with 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of methamphetamine at an airport in Australia.

The two 69-year-old travellers, identified by the names Wilfried and Vera D., arrived at Sydney International Airport on 4 July after setting off on a flight from Zimbabwe and transiting through South Africa.

They made it all the way to Australia without being caught in possession of anything illegal, but Australian Border Force officers put a stop to their journey after examining their luggage upon arrival in Sydney.

The meth was found in the lining of the suitcases. Credit: valentyn semenov/Alamy Stock Photo
The meth was found in the lining of the suitcases. Credit: valentyn semenov/Alamy Stock Photo

Authorities allegedly uncovered 22 pounds of methamphetamine in the lining of two suitcases, with images showing the luggage lined with large brown packages labelled ‘evidence’.

Officers with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) seized the illegal drugs and charged the two pensioners with ‘importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)’.

The pair later appeared in Downing Centre Local Court on the charges, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Angy Polic, AFP Detective Sergeant, said the organisation is working with international partners to try and determine the origins of the methamphetamine seized at Sydney Airport.

The seizure is just one of many by the AFP this year. Credit: Australian Border Force
The seizure is just one of many by the AFP this year. Credit: Australian Border Force

Polic commented: “The likelihood that two people can act alone to source a commercial quantity of methamphetamine is rare – organised crime syndicates are often behind such importations.

“The AFP continues to diligently work to identify and dismantle criminal groups responsible for the importation of illicit drugs into Australia, particularly those seeking to exploit the increased number of arriving flights catering for the resumption of international travel.

“The AFP and its law enforcement partners remain committed to disrupting organised crime syndicates who seek to harm Australians.”

The successful seizure of the meth is estimated to have saved the community more than $4 million in drug-related harm, including associated crime, healthcare and loss of productivity, according to the AFP.

The sentence for trafficking the drugs is up to life in prison. Credit: Kondor83/Alamy Stock Photo
The sentence for trafficking the drugs is up to life in prison. Credit: Kondor83/Alamy Stock Photo

Sue Drennan, Australian Border Force Commander Trade and Travel Operations East, said the seizure is just one of many attempts by travellers to bring border controlled drugs into Australia that the ABF has intercepted this year.

“Our highly trained officers have significant skill and technological capability when it comes to detecting drugs at the border,” Commander Drennan said, adding: “We are alert to the different ways criminals try to conceal and move their drugs, and those considering bringing drugs into Australia would do well to remember that – or face the consequences.”

If you want friendly, confidential advice about drugs, you can talk to FRANK. You can call 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or contact through their website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or livechat from 2pm-6pm any day of the week 

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