Australian woman charged after airport customs finds large quantity of heroin in suitcase

A 60-year-old Australian woman has been charged for attempting to smuggle nearly 7 kilograms of heroin into Taiwan via Taoyuan International Airport.

Taiwan’s Aviation Police Bureau announced today that the woman was arrested at Taoyuan International Airport in December 2023 when customs officers found a package containing 6.926 kilograms of heroin in her suitcase.

According to the police press release, customs officers spotted abnormalities in the suitcase during an X-ray inspection of inbound luggage. Customs officers waited until the woman claimed the suitcase, then stopped her at the customs check to inspect the suitcase.

After cutting the lining of the suitcase, a hidden compartment was revealed containing a package of white powder which tested positive for heroin.

The nearly 7-kilogram haul had an estimated street value of NT$40 million according to police.

According to the investigation, the Australian citizen is alleged to have travelled from Australia to Malaysia, where she picked up the suitcase containing the drugs. After several months in custody the woman was recently sent to the Taoyuan District Prosecutor’s Office to be formally charged with offences against Taiwan’s Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act.

Last month, a Malaysian couple were sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling 14 kilograms of heroin from Malaysia into Taiwan.

heroin and suitcase
Evidence in heroin smuggling case. Picture: Aviation Police Bureau.
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