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New Zealand pensioner found not guilty of drug smuggling

A New Zealand pensioner has returned home after spending 18 months in prison awaiting trial, accused of smuggling drugs into Australia.

Roy Arbon, 68, was arrested at Perth airport in 2016 after border patrol discovered 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase. 

The retired beekeeper from Greymouth, in the South Island, told airport officials he was carrying the suitcase for a Nigerian man he met in Brazil. 

 

Roy Arbon, a New Zealand pensioner, has returned home after spending 18 months in prison awaiting trial, accused of smuggling drugs into Australia

Mr Arbon was arrested at Perth airport in 2016 after border patrol discovered 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase

Mr Arbon was arrested at Perth airport in 2016 after border patrol discovered 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase

Mr Arbon believed the suitcase to be full of clothes when he agreed to carry it for the stranger.

‘He gave me a hand, someone asked me to take the suitcase, and I said, ‘Yeah, no problem’,’ Mr Arbon told New Zealand media.

‘I took all the clothes out, checked the bottom, and to me, it was just a normal suitcase.’

Friends and family rallied around the New Zealand pensioner but he spent 18 months awaiting trial for the alleged drug smuggling.

An Australian jury found Mr Arbon not guilty of the crime earlier this month.

Mr Arbon’s friend, Graeme Mac, said there were ‘two camps’ of people behind his friend’s trial.

‘There was “he’s guilty, chuck the key away”, and there was a lot of others who said, “This is not Roy”,’ he said.

Perth border patrol discovered 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in Mr Arbon's suitcase (stock image)

Perth border patrol discovered 2.5 kilograms of cocaine in Mr Arbon’s suitcase (stock image)

An Australian jury found Mr Arbon not guilty of drug smuggling earlier this month

An Australian jury found Mr Arbon not guilty of drug smuggling earlier this month

This isn’t the first time Mr Arbon has been fooled by scammers unfortunately, but he said he’s definitely learnt his lesson.

‘Never, ever, under any circumstances, carry someone else’s bag,’ he said. 

The former mountaineer, who once received a medal for assisting recovery workers during the 1979 Mt Erebus tragedy, said he’s now going to enjoy the little thing.

‘Going to the bush, seeing the stars, and sitting by the bonfire, is at the top of his list. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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