French national charged over internal heroin importation

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

A 55-year-old man is expected to face Perth Magistrate’s Court today (Friday, 28 February) after he allegedly imported about 270g of heroin wrapped in five pellets concealed inside his body.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers selected the man for further examination after he flew into Perth on a flight from Bangkok about 7.20am yesterday (27 February).

Nothing illegal was found in his luggage but swabs taken of his mobile phone allegedly revealed traces of LSD.

The man was also requested to undertake a non-medical body scan, which returned a positive indication of internal concealment.

The man was referred to Australian Federal Police (AFP) for an internal examination and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where it will be alleged he passed five pellets.

The total weight of the five pellets was approximately 270g and indicative testing returned positive results for heroin.

Further forensic testing of the seized drugs is ongoing.

The estimated street value of 270g of heroin in WA is $135,000 and the equivalent of an estimated 1,350 street deals.

The man, who lives in Thailand, had claimed he was coming to Australia for a holiday.

He has been charged with:

  • one count of importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin, contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

ABF Regional Commander for WA, James Copeman, said ABF officers are fully aware of the wide variety of methods drug smugglers will go to in the attempt to bring harmful illicit drugs into Australia.

“Our officers have the technology, skills and ability to detect and disrupt the importation of illicit drugs no matter how they are concealed,” Commander Copeman said.

“Those that try to do so via internal concealment not only risk lengthy jail time but are gambling with their own lives.

“The ABF is committed to working with our Federal and State law enforcement partners protect the Australian community.”

AFP Commander Western John Tanti says law enforcement collaboration is vital for combatting all levels of the illicit drug trade and preventing criminals from profiting from their harmful acts.

“Smuggling drugs internally is idiotic – there is the real risk that stomach acid will eat through the wrapping of the drugs and lead to a fatal drug overdose,” he said.

“These drug couriers are not just risking their own lives, they negatively impact the wider community by supplying these narcotics.

“These drugs aren’t transported hygienically and heroin certainly isn’t produced in sterile conditions – anyone who uses these drugs doesn’t really know what they’re ingesting.”

Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact BorderWatch at By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Footage and images, courtesy of AFP and ABF, are available here:

**The AFP uses the ACIC Illicit Drug Data Report ( as the consistent publication for illicit substances in Australia. This figure is the basis of calculating both the monetary value of the illicit drug were it to be sold at the end of the supply chain or ‘on the street’, and the number of related street deals. This is based on available price data and may not be reflective of what would generally be considered as a street deal for this drug type.

/Public Release. View in full here.