A South African Airways (SAA) female flight attendant has been arrested for attempting to smuggle 6kg of cocaine through Perth Airport in Australia, reports The West Australian.
Priya Govender, 32, was arrested on August 18 after arriving in Perth on a SAA flight from Johannesburg with the drugs concealed inside six hollowed-out books she was carrying in her crew bag.
SAA confirmed that one of its employees was in custody in Perth on drug charges, saying that Ms Govender had been employed as a hostess for about seven years and was on duty the night she was arrested.
According to the report, Australian authorities had been tipped off about Ms Govender’s expected arrival and selected her for a detailed baggage examination when she reached customs.
The Australian Federal Police were contacted and Ms Govender was charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The Australian Border Force said Priya Govender was carrying six packages of cocaine, each weighing about 1kg.
The police are currently investigating whether Ms Govender intended to pass the drugs on to someone in Australia, but no other arrests have been made yet.
Ms Govender is reportedly engaged to her South African partner Dane Francis and it is understood they were planning to get married before she was arrested.