The police made a monumental error by mistaking a large amount of herbal tea for illegal drugs and sending the “dealers” to jail.
It is undeniable that Vun Pui “Connie” Chong and her daughter, San Yan Melanie Lim, intended to make a profit.
Their intentions, however, fell far short of the illegal criminal minds of drug trafficking.
The couple imported 25 kilograms of brown ginger tea to Australia, intending to sell it at a premium price.
The herbal drink is a remedy for period pain in the couples’ home country, Malaysia.
Unlike traditional drug lords, their pursuit (assuming all goes well) was only aimed at making a profit of around $ 90 AUD. Not enough to buy gold chains on a ’90s Ford Pronto.
The mission didn’t go well and everything.
Australian Border Force (ABF) intercepted the packages at the international airport and identified the contents as amphetamine.
Chong and Lim’s home in southwest Sydney was raided by heavily armed officers in January and the duo were arrested.
Authorities were told there were problems with the tests used to identify the substances, but they were still jailed for four unworthy months.
Officers were relying on evidence showing that the tea returned a preliminary positive test for banned drugs, but the formal test found that the ginger tea contained no traces of drugs. # 9Newshttps://t.co/iI60fgHVh6
– 9News Australia (@ 9NewsAUS) October 5, 2021
It was heard in the Sydney Downing local court that the ABF had carried out “dangerous risk” tests to identify the substance as the stimulant drug, Phenmetrazine.
The tests done to identify the substance are said to simply identify a spectrum of substances similar to phenmetrazine.
Sugar, sucrose, and powdered sugar were all substances more likely to derive the result of this particular test.
An Australian Federal Police forensic operator has written to the officer in charge of the case, Senior Detective Officer Tara Conaghan, expressing his uncertainty about the outcome.
“In short, we cannot infer from this ABF result that the sample contains or does not contain phenmetrazine. “
This information was never passed on to the women’s defense team.
Is this ridiculous? The right thing to do would be to apologize publicly and pay compensation as both have suffered enough.
Two Sydney women jailed for five months after shipment of ginger tea mistaken for drugs https://t.co/vVDkt8BeIC
– Andreas Steinwachs (@andysteinwachs) October 5, 2021
On top of that, Detective Conaghan did not notify them when he asked for the samples to be shipped due to an email from another AFP agent claiming lab results from similar products had. been determined as “no prohibited substances detected.”
Lim and Chong were held until May, and the charges were not lifted until August 10.
Conaghan was asked about her choice to keep information hidden from detainees during cross-examination.
“Because the drugs were still waiting to be fully tested”, Conaghan responded.
The mother-daughter couple are suing for costs that the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution refused to pay. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Just kidding, please don’t… it’s still just tea.