A woman has been jailed for 10 years after being tricked into smuggling more than three kilograms of methamphetamine into Brisbane.
A Chinese mother who claimed she was tricked into smuggling more than three kilograms of methamphetamine into Brisbane will spend at least five years in an Australian prison.
Wan Hao Wu, a 47-year-old widow, was arrested at the airport after travelling to Brisbane with her 17-year-old son in June 2013.
Authorities had inspected her two suitcases and found 3.17kg of pure methamphetamine concealed in hidden compartments.
The haul was more than four times the commercial threshold set out in federal legislation.
Ms Wu pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
On Tuesday, prosecutor Glen Rice, QC, told the Brisbane Supreme Court Ms Wu initially declined to be interviewed by federal police, but was more forthcoming with Hong Kong police in March this year.
Ms Wu claimed she was offered a lucrative deal to smuggle diamonds into Australia by an acquaintance.
“The arrangements were that she pay the travel agent 15,000 Hong Kong dollars for each of the defendant’s trip and her son’s trip,” Mr Rice told the court.
“Ms Wu also said she was promised, upon her return, 35,000 Hong Kong dollars for … herself and her son.”
Mr Rice submitted that the diamond story was “lacking in credibility”, and the defendant made no attempt to investigate it.
Defence barrister Peter Nolan said Ms Wu had co-operated with authorities once she fully understood the situation.
She changed her plea to guilty on Tuesday morning, after finding out her son had been flown home.
Through an interpreter, Ms Wu told justice Ann Lyons that she wished to return to Hong Kong as soon as possible to care for her son.
In sentencing, Justice Lyons said Ms Wu’s change of plea had removed the need for a trial and therefore delivered a significant saving to the administration of justice.
But the judge also said the defendant had acted with a “high degree of recklessness”.
Justice Lyons imposed a 10-year jail sentence with a non-parole period of five years.
The judge took into account that Ms Wu’s prospects of rehabilitation were good and her risk of reoffending was low.
Ms Wu was told if she is released on parole after five years, she may be deported to China.