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Golden gun Sydney Airport: US tourist Liliana Goodson to stay at luxury hotel on bail

A colourfully tattooed American traveller has upgraded from police custody to a boutique hotel after she allegedly tried to smuggle a 24-karat gold-plated gun into Australia.

Liliana Goodson was arrested at Sydney Airport on the afternoon of April 23 after Australian Border Force allegedly found a golden handgun hidden in her hand luggage.

Police allege an X-ray machine at the busy airport detected the golden gun inside Ms Goodson’s hand luggage after she flew into the country from Los Angeles.

The weapon is a gold-plated Colt 45-style pistol with pearl inlay which is estimated to be valued at more than $2,000. It was not loaded when it was seized by authorities.

US citizen Liliana Goodson has been charged with trying to smuggle an unregistered gold-plated pistol into Australia

Authorities allege the weapon is a custom 1911 Colt 45 plated in 24-karat gold

Authorities allege the weapon is a custom 1911 Colt 45 plated in 24-karat gold

ABF officials claim Ms Goodson does not have a permit to import or carry the gun, which is unregistered.

The 28-year-old was in custody for more than two weeks after she was charged with importing an unauthorised illegal firearm.

She was granted bail and released on May 8 on the condition she deposit a surety of $10,000 within three days.

The hefty sum would be forfeited to the court if Ms Goodson failed to appear in court.

However, Sydney Downing Centre court heard on Wednesday that the US traveller had not handed the money over to the court.

Her lawyer Bryan Wrench told the court Ms Goodson could only access her US bank account using her phone, which had been seized by federal authorities during her arrest.

‘The problem is that she has those funds but she can’t pull them out,’ he said.

‘The ABF said they wouldn’t release her phone.’

Mr Wrench asked the court to extend the deadline until Monday to allow his client to deposit the money.

Commonwealth prosecutor Mayuri Santhakumar agreed to the extension on the condition that ‘at least some of the money she had accessed’ could be deposited immediately.

Magistrate Miranda Moody said she was concerned about Ms Goodson’s ability to pay the surety.

‘She’s been granted bail on the basis that she provides the surety,’ she said.

‘It might be that it’s a surety she could never provide and that’s the danger.’

The magistrate ordered Ms Goodson to pay $3500 of the surety on Wednesday and the remaining balance by Monday.

The 28-year-old was in custody for more than two weeks after being charged with importing an unauthorised illegal firearm

The 28-year-old was in custody for more than two weeks after being charged with importing an unauthorised illegal firearm

The court heard Goodson has been living at The Baxley, 'luxury boutique accommodation' near Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach

The court heard Goodson has been living at The Baxley, ‘luxury boutique accommodation’ near Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach

Weekly rates for the hotel range from $1141 for a 'compact' room with a shared bathroom, to $1820/week for a premium queen room with included ensuite

Weekly rates for the hotel range from $1141 for a ‘compact’ room with a shared bathroom, to $1820/week for a premium queen room with included ensuite 

The magistrate warned the US traveller was in ‘danger of losing her bail’ if she did not pay the outstanding $6500.

The 28-year-old was colourfully dressed in hot pink cheetah-print pants and neon orange runners when she appeared in court on Wednesday to plead her case.

Her long dark hair was pulled back into a pink butterfly clip to keep it out of her face, which is tattooed with a myriad of colourful images.

The court heard the tourist has been living at The Baxley, ‘luxury boutique accommodation’ near Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach.

Weekly rates for the hotel range from $1141 for a ‘compact’ room with a shared bathroom, to $1820/week for a premium queen room with included ensuite.

On the website, the hotel boasts ‘premium linen, luxurious locally-sourced botanical amenities, communal lounge, kitchenette and laundry facilities’.

As part of her bail conditions, she was forced to surrender the passport she used to enter the country and is prohibited from applying for a replacement.

Ms Goodson (pictured) appeared in court on Wednesday

Ms Goodson (pictured) appeared in court on Wednesday 

If convicted of the offence, Ms Goodson is facing a maximum of 10 years behind bars.

She is also facing the possibility of visa cancellation or deportation if found guilty.

ABF Commander Justin Bathurst said the seizure of the prohibited firearm was a win for ‘Australia’s first and most important line of defence’.

‘Time and time again we have seen just how good ABF officers are at targeting and stopping illegal and highly dangerous goods from crossing Australia’s border,’ he said.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk