AN Italian national will face court over allegedly importing 300 grams of heroin wrapped in 66 pellets inside his body.
The 49-year-old man flew to Perth from Chiang Mai, Thailand via Kuala Lumpur on September 6.
Australian Border Force conducted a full baggage examination at Perth Airport, which returned positive readings for narcotics from his suitcase.
The man was taken to hospital and it will be alleged 63 pellets were recovered from his stomach and three additional pellets which were internally inserted.
Police said an analysis of the drugs, a total weight of 300.4 grams, returned positive for heroin.
The estimated street value of 300 grams of heroin is $135,000.
The man was charged with one count of importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin.
He is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.
ABF Regional Commander for WA Rod O’Donnell said the detection demonstrated the vigilance of ABF officers at Australia’s borders.
“Those that seek to import drugs, be it via an internal courier or any other method, remain firmly in our sights,” he said.
“The ABF is fully aware of the lengths that people are willing to go to bring harmful illicit drugs into Australia.
“They not only risk lengthy jail time but are playing Russian roulette with their own lives and health.”
Australian Federal Police Detective Superintendent Timothy Underhill said the demand for illicit drugs in Australia remained high.
“It is a societal issue and in addition to tackling the supply of illicit drugs, the AFP is committed to working with the health and education sectors who are focused on demand reduction,” he said.
“Smuggling drugs internally is an incredibly stupid endeavour – there is a constant risk that stomach acid will eat through the wrapping of the drugs a person is concealing, risking a fatal drug overdose.”
Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact BorderWatch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch.