US Woman Charged Over Adelaide Airport Meth Import

A US national will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today (24 June) after being charged with trafficking more than two kilograms of methamphetamine into Australia.

The woman, 60, arrived into Adelaide Airport on Friday (21 June) on an international flight when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected her for a baggage examination.

During the search, officers located two vacuum-sealed plastic bags of clothing contained within one of the woman’s suitcases. Officers allegedly found a white powdery substance wrapped and placed inside the clothing. Presumptive testing indicated the substance was likely to be methamphetamine.

The ABF reported the incident to AFP officers at Adelaide Airport, who conducted further investigations and questioned the woman.

Investigators identified about 2kg of what is alleged to be methamphetamine in her luggage. It was seized and will be the subject of further forensic examination.

The woman was charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

AFP Acting Superintendent Simon Lalic said the AFP and its state, Commonwealth and international law enforcement partners work tirelessly to combat the supply of illicit drugs into Australia.

“Unfortunately, the market for illicit drugs in Australia is strong. However, the AFP, ABF and our partners are relentless in disrupting all levels of the drug trade and stopping anyone who tries to profit at the expense of our community,” A/Supt Lalic said.

“Across Australia, 27 people on average were admitted to hospital every day in 2021-22 for methamphetamine-related issues*. That has an impact on the health system that can negatively affect the entire community.”

ABF Chief Superintendent Bart England said the ABF, working alongside its partner agencies in Australia and abroad, was cracking down on the global criminal networks that fuel Australian deaths due to drugs.

“Methamphetamine is an incredibly destructive drug. It is extremely addictive. It rips apart families and does untold damage to those who become trapped in its grip,” Chief Superintendent England said.

“Keeping illicit subtances out of the hands of criminals who try to make a profit at the expense of vulnerable members of the community is a high priority for the ABF.

“Our message is clear: whatever illicit substance criminals try to import, and however they try to hide it, we will detect it and they will face significant penalties.”

*Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report

/Public Release. View in full here.