The Australian Federal Police have charged a 91-year-old man with importing 4.5 kilograms of cocaine into Sydney from India.
It appears the elderly man may have been duped into acting as a drug mule by bringing the drug into Australia encased in soap.
The man was stopped by customs on July 8, when officers allegedly discovered 27 packets of soap which tested positive for cocaine.
The AFP are warning that claims of ignorance will not necessarily mean a drug smuggler escapes a jail sentence.
"People can expect they will be charged if they knowingly bring drugs into Australia, or are reckless or wilfully blind to the fact that there could be narcotics concealed inside their luggage or items they are carrying," AFP Acting National Manager Aviation Wayne Buchhorn said.
In a media release, ABF Regional Commander NSW Tim Fitzgerald said travellers should be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to luggage:
"Luggage is a personal responsibility. If you've been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, be sure you know exactly what is inside.
"We recommend that you do not allow another person to pack your bag and do not carry luggage on behalf of another person."
The man has been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. If convicted, he may face life in prison.
The man will face Sydney Central Local Court on Tuesday morning.
Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Rob Stott at email@example.com.
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