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article imageMalaysia Airlines pilot charged with importing drugs

By Roderick Eime     Jan 12, 2012 in Crime
Sydney - A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) pilot has been arrested at Sydney airport and charged with the illegal importation of 5kg of methamphetamine in his suitcase
The arrest follows nearly five months of surveillance by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) after commercial pilot, Thiagu Supramaniam, 30, a Malaysian national who flies MAS cargo aircraft, was believed to have imported 1.4kg of heroin in August.
On that occasion, Supramaniam was understood to have met a 38-y-o man at a Sydney hotel who was subsequently arrested.
Reports on say Australian Customs officers searched the man's bag after he disembarked at Sydney Airport, and allegedly uncovered six packages containing a "white crystalline substance", which tests apparently later confirmed as methamphetamine (aka ice).
Supramaniam did not apply for bail and has requested the case be adjourned until his family in Malaysia is contacted. He will face court again next week.
In the meantime, according to Sydney Channel 7 news, MAS have issued a statement saying they were co-operating fully with authorities.
Unlike his home country where the penalty for such an offence is death, the maximum penalty in Australia is life imprisonment and/or an A$825,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment and or a $550,000 fine respectively.
Three Australian citizens have been executed in Malaysia since 1986. The last, Michael McAuliffe, was hanged for possession of 142g of heroin in 1993.
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