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Photo: South African flight attendant arrested in Australia for importing 6kg of cocaine concealed in books


Barely a week after a female South African police officer was arrested in n Brazil for drug possession, South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed one of its flight attendants has been arrested in Australia, after she was allegedly caught with six kilogrammes of cocaine hidden in her luggage.

32-year-old Priya ‘Pree’ Govender was intercepted by Australian border officers at the Perth Airport this week.

The national carrier’s Tladi Tladi says SAA will allow the law to take its course.

“SAA would like to respect the legal system of that country and allow the law to take its course, before we comment further on this.” the statement says.

In a joint media released by the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Federal Police (AFP), they said the incident occurred on 18 August 2017 after she arrived on a flight from Johannesburg.

They did not identify the woman but local media have named her as flight attendant from Phoenix, Priya ‘Pree’ Govender, who has worked for South Africa’s national airline since 2010.

Govender was selected for a baggage examination by ABF officers.

“During the examination, ABF officers detected six packages concealed in six books. Initial testing returned a positive result for the border controlled drug cocaine…

“The Australian Federal Police (AFP) attended and arrested the woman. She was later charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth),” said the statement.

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

Govender appeared before the Perth Magistrate Court on 19 August. She was denied bail and is due to return to court on 6 September 2017.

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