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Dublin: 16°C Saturday 28 May 2022

Man (91) charged with smuggling cocaine disguised as soap

He alleges he was taken advantage of.

Image: Screenshot via 9 News

‘BRING NOTHING BACK for anyone’ is the warning from an elderly man charged with smuggling cocaine disguised as soap into Australia.

Victor Twartz (91) had travelled to New Delhi, and claims he was asked to bring what he believed to be soap back to Australia as a gift for someone there, local media report.

It has prompted Australian police to issue a warning to the public urging caution when travelling abroad that they do not fall victim to drug courier scams.

There are conflicting reports as to how Twartz ended up in India. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that he had received emails from people claiming to be from the World Bank, who paid for his trip, while ABC says he had befriended the people online.

When leaving New Delhi, he alleged he was handed the bars of soap in a bag. When Twartz arrived in Australia, he was arrested after police discovered the 4.5 kilograms of cocaine.

If convicted, he would be the oldest person to be charged with this kind of offence, and could face life in prison.

In the warning issued by police, Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Buchhorn from the Australian Federal Police said:

Claiming ignorance of drugs hidden inside your luggage does not automatically mean you will not face criminal charges.

“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.”

Twartz appeared in court this morning and was released on bail.

Speaking to the SMH after proceedings, he explained he doesn’t drink alcohol, and is completely against the use of drugs.

He told the paper he wants a new warning printed on all boarding passes:

Bring nothing back for anyone, no matter what one is promised or offered. Bringing anything will bring trouble.

Read: UK man posts picture of himself in a coma to warn about taking random drugs >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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