Jail for smuggling drugs in chocolates
An Austrian woman who smuggled the drug ice hidden in Toblerone and Ferrero Rocher chocolates into Melbourne has been jailed.
Nicole Demirkiran, 31, of Vienna, was found with a small plastic bag containing 0.2 grams of methamphetamine when her bag was searched by customs officers when she arrived at Melbourne Airport from Thailand on March 10.
Demirkiran was charged and released on bail.
But federal police later found more than a kilogram of ice hidden in Ferrero Rocher and Toblerone chocolates in her hotel room.
The County Court in Melbourne heard Demirkiran initially told police she was given the chocolates by an unknown person in Bangkok as a gift for her four-year-old child.
But she later admitted she received them from a large criminal network and believed they contained drugs.
Demirkiran pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.
Judge Barbara Cotterell accepted Demirkiran's remorse and that she had had a traumatic and deprived childhood that had affected her in adult life.
But she said a jail term was needed to deter potential drug smugglers.
"Without people like you who are willing to risk everything for very little, the drug trade would be severely limited," the judge said.
Demirkiran was jailed for five-and-a-half years with a minimum of three years.
The sentence takes into account the seven months she has already served in custody.