27 May 2013

NZ woman in Darwin court on drugs charges

7:58 pm on 27 May 2013

A New Zealand woman who allegedly flew to Australia with 8.5kg of methamphetamine in her luggage is the subject of a four-nation police inquiry

Bernadine Prince, 41 appeared before Darwin magistrate John Neill on Monday on four drug-related charges.

Prosecutors say police from New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia and Kenya are involved in the investigation.

Ms Prince arrived in Darwin on 23 May on a flight from Cambodia, AAP reports.

Australian Federal Police say customs officers found in her suitcase seven empty backpacks containing an off-white crystal substance in the padding.

It tested positive for methamphetamine and had an estimated weight of 8.5kg.

If found guilty, Ms Prince faces a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail and a fine of up to $A340,000.

Given the breadth of the investigation, her trial is not expected to begin until August this year.

Mr Neill ordered that Prince return to court on Wednesday for a brief hearing where any bail application will be considered.