Australian man awarded $100K for wrongful arrest, no drugs found

Posted Nov 21, 2011 by Leigh Goessl
An Australian man is being compensated $100,000 after going through the ordeal of being accused of, and subsequently arrested for, drug trafficking last year.
Security continues to increase as threats to our safe travel increase
Security continues to increase as threats to our safe travel increase
In June 2010 authorities had accused Neil Parry of trying to smuggle drugs, specifically liquid ecstasy, into the country by using Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Parry was arrested at Darwin Airport, and then spent three days in jail reports the Associated Press (via CBC News). In addition to spending time in jail, his boat was searched, as were the homes of two of his friends.
Since this time Parry has been "locked in a legal battle with Customs for the past 17 months," ABC News reported.
After further examination, Customs admitted both the shampoo and conditioner had contained the hair care products as labeled. It was determined Parry did not tote drugs into the airport, despite the fact authorities had accused him of smuggling 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lbs) of liquid ecstasy in the hair product bottles.
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service reportedly issued an apology to Parry on Friday. It seems the agency lapsed in its procedures when dealing with suspected drug smuggling. ABC reported the agency said,
"Customs and Border Protection acknowledges that there were mistakes made during the presumptive testing of Mr Parry’s goods. The CEO has apologised to Mr Parry for the consequences that followed his referral to the AFP by Customs and Border Protection.
"Customs and Border Protection has agreed to a settlement of $100,000 with Mr Neil Parry in relation to this matter."
What does Parry think about the monetary award?
Apparently not very excited. According to, when asked, Parry said, "It is not worth it, no," adding, "I would rather it never happened."
He says most of the award will go towards paying off his legal expenses.