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Importation of drugs

Our client was a 70 year old permanent resident of the United States.  She traveled to Australia, and upon arriving, her baggage was searched by Customs.  Concealed inside the lining of some handbags and packets of tea which were in her luggage was a total of 1.5 kilograms of methyl-amphetamine. Our client was charged with importing a commercial quantity of methyl-amphetamine, which holds a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  Our client protested her innocence from the outset, saying that she had no knowledge that there were drugs in her luggage.  In the lead-up to her trial, we worked closely with our client and our barrister to analyse the evidence and prepare the matter as thoroughly and carefully as possible.

The matter proceeded to a jury trial in the County Court.  After all the evidence was presented by the prosecution, our client elected to give evidence in front of the jury.  Our client explained that she had been duped years earlier into believing she had won an internet lottery.  For several years, she had been trying to reclaim her winnings, and was continually scammed via by people purporting to represent Nigerian banks and promising to recoup her lost fortune.  She had lost thousands of dollars over the years to dodgy internet frauds.  Finally, she believed she had made contact with legitimate government officials who would ensure she was compensated once and for all.  She was misled to believe that she needed to travel to Australia to realise her fortune.  On her way, she was given some baggage as a present by government officials, which contained the illicit drugs unbeknownst to her.

We had obtained our client’s extensive email trail which largely accorded with her story.  This material proved pivotal to the ultimate outcome.  After three days of deliberation, the jury returned their unanimous verdict of “Not Guilty”, and our client was acquitted of the charge.

This was an extremely good result in what was a very difficult case for the defense.