A 91-YEAR-OLD Sydney man has been charged with importing cocaine

A 91-YEAR-OLD Sydney man has been charged with importing cocaine after he apparently fell victim to a scam.
  • The 91-year-old was caught with 4.5kg of cocaine in 27 bars of soap
  • The retired oral surgeon was picked up on a flight from New Delhi
  • He claimed he met people online and was handed a bag with gifts
  • Mr Twartz faces spending the rest of his life in jail

A 91-YEAR-OLD Sydney man has been charged with importing cocaine after he apparently fell victim to a scam.

The Australian Federal Police said Marsfield man Victor Twartz carried 27 bars of soap, filled with about 4.5kg of cocaine, on a flight from New Delhi to Sydney on July 8.

Mr Twartz appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court today to face the charges of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. He was supported by his son and friends.

“Were you taken advantage of?” he was asked by reporters outside the court. “Always, always,” Twartz replied.

Victor Twartz speaks to the media outside Downing Centre. Picture: Andrew Murray

Victor Twartz speaks to the media outside Downing Centre. Picture: Andrew MurraySource:News Corp Australia

The retired oral surgeon told the ABC’s7.30that he met people in Delhi who he befriended online and was handed a bag he was told contained gifts for someone in Australia just before he boarded his flight.

“When somebody says to you ‘as a child of God, I vow to God there is nothing wrong (with this bag)’,” Mr Twartz told Channel Seven.

“I looked carefully at what was in it, and it was soap — it certainly was.

“But it also had these streaks. I was not knowledgeable enough to know.”

The 91-year-old was represented by solicitor Guy Williams during his brief two-minute appearance.

The matter was adjourned until October 6 and bail was continued. Mr Twartz was granted police bail on July 8 and was not required to offer any surety.

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The only condition of his bail was that he live at his Marsfield home and not enter any international airport or point of departure from Australia

Despite the charge against him Mr Twartz cut a jaunty figure as he turned up to court in a three-piece tweed suit and hat.

A blog reveals that Mr Twartz is an avid traveller and fond of sharing his adventures.

In 2007 he took an extended five-month swing through Europe, visiting Spain, Morocco, Portugal and Germany; he spent a week in Korea and two weeks in Canada (where he visited the most northerly settlement in the world) in 2008 and in 2009 he spent almost three months in New Zealand and a week in Taiwan.

The drugs that were found on 91-year-old Victor Twartz. Picture: Australian Federal Polic

The drugs that were found on 91-year-old Victor Twartz. Picture: Australian Federal PoliceSource:Supplied

The cocaine was hidden in 27 packages of soap. Picture: Australian Federal Police

The cocaine was hidden in 27 packages of soap. Picture: Australian Federal PoliceSource:Supplied

The case has prompted warnings to travellers to pack their luggage carefully and be wary of inadvertently becoming drug couriers for overseas criminal syndicates.

“Luggage is a personal responsibility. If you’ve been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, be sure you know exactly what is inside,” ABF Regional Commander NSW, Tim Fitzgerald said in a statement.

AFP Acting National Manager Aviation Wayne Buchhorn said travellers should be aware that if they knowingly, or unwittingly, bring drugs back into the country they may be charged.

The maximum penalty for drug importation is life imprisonment.

Source: mews