Woman to face court over meth-stuffed backpacks

A NEW Zealand woman has been charged with importing methamphetamine into Australia after the border-controlled substance was found in two suitcases at Darwin Airport.

The 41-year-old woman was to face the charges in Darwin Magistrates Court on Monday, after arrived in Darwin on a flight from Cambodia via Singapore last Thursday.

On Friday last week, two unaccompanied suitcases arrived at Darwin International Airport.

After a swab analysis of the suitcases returned a positive reading for narcotics, Customs officials opened the suitcases and found seven empty backpacks.

Further examination of the backpacks revealed an off-white crystal substance concealed within the back padding, which was later confirmed as methamphetamine.

The suitcases were handed to the AFP for further investigation and analysis, with police estimating 8.5kg of methamphetamine was hidden inside the backpacks.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at a hotel in Darwin and the woman was later located in the Darwin central business district.

After participating in a police interview, the woman was charged with importing a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $340,000 fine.

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