Thursday, January 12, 2012

Malaysia Airlines pilot charged in Australia over drugs

Thiagu Supramaniam, 30, of Malaysia, has been charged with two counts of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, with one charge reportedly stemming from a previous drug deal, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A Malaysian pilot has faced a Sydney court accused of importing 1.4kg of heroin and 5kg of methamphetamine into Australia.

Thagu Supramaniam, 30, who could face life imprisonment if convicted, did not apply for bail when he appeared at Sydney Central Court on Thursday.

Bail was formally refused.

He was charged after Australian Customs and Border Protection officers examined his suitcase at Sydney International Airport on Tuesday.

During the search, officers allegedly found a white crystal substance hidden inside the suitcase in six packages.

Tests allegedly revealed the presence of methamphetamine with an estimated weight of 5kg, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement on Thursday.

Police said Supramaniam, who had flown from Malaysia, was a commercial airline pilot and was working when his suitcase was searched.

They also allege he imported 1.4kg of heroin into Sydney from Malaysia in August last year and then delivered it to a 38-year-old man at a Sydney hotel.

He has been charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, and one count of importing a marketable quantity of heroin.

The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or an $825,000 fine for the first charge and 25 years' imprisonment and/or a $550,000 fine for the second.

Supramaniam is due to appear again before Sydney Central Local Court on January 18.

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