Kiwi charged in 5kg meth haul
A New Zealand woman charged with smuggling five kilograms of crystal meth into Australia has been refused bail.
Customs officers at Sydney Airport stopped Tuvaine Puri, 53, as she stepped off a flight from India on Saturday afternoon.
They examined her luggage and found eight boxes containing lathe chucks — a clamping tool that holds rotating devices such as drill bits.
Hidden inside the chucks was five kilograms of methamphetamine, or crystal meth — the party drug made famous on the television series Breaking Bad.
Puri was charged with importing a commercial quantity of the drug and faced Parramatta Local Court on Monday.
She was formally refused bail and her case was adjourned to Central Local Court on Tuesday.
The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment or a fine of up to A$1.27 million (NZ$1.39m).
The meth haul is the latest of many recovered by Australian authorities, who say smugglers and dealers have been attracted by the high value of the Aussie dollar.
In February, federal police and customs at Sydney Airport recovered 183kg of crystal meth stuffed into watertight areas of 27 kayaks.
In the past 17 months, authorities have found more than 1000kg of meth in liquid and crystal form and the biggest haul in recent times was a 565kg seizure in Melbourne.