Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


91-year-old man charged with importing cocaine

11 August 2015, 10:45

Sydney — A 91-year-old retired surgeon has been charged with importing cocaine hidden in soap into Australia, prompting police to warn travelers to beware they are not tricked into becoming drug mules.

Victor Twartz, of Sydney, was released on bail when he appeared in Sydney's Downing Center Local Court charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine last month. He did not enter a plea and will appear in court next on Oct. 6.

The retired oral surgeon faces a potential life prison sentence if he is convicted of importing 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) of the drug into Sydney Airport on a July 8 flight from New Delhi.

A search of Twartz's luggage found 27 packages of soap that tested positive for cocaine, police said.

Police say it appears that Twartz was scammed by a group of people he had befriended online before his trip. Australian Federal Police organized crime commander David Stewart declined to say whether Twartz had been promised anything by the group, but said he had been in contact with them over several months.

Police were tipped off by Twartz's family about the email exchanges but did not stop him from leaving Australia, Stewart said.

"There is certainly some evidence to suggest that this man was legitimately scammed by this group and exploited," Stewart told reporters. "There were warnings issued to him about his activities both here and overseas ... but you can only provide people with certain warnings. At the end of the day, they'll make their own choices."

Twartz told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that he met people in New Delhi whom he had befriended online. As he was about to board his plane to return to Sydney, he was handed a bag that he was told contained gifts for someone in Australia, he said.

As Twartz left court on Tuesday, a reporter asked if he had been taken advantage of. Twartz replied: "Always, always."

Australian Federal Police manager Wayne Buchhorn warned that unwittingly bringing drugs into Australia could result in charges.

"People can expect they will be charged if they knowingly bring drugs into Australia, or are reckless or willfully blind to the fact that there could be narcotics concealed inside their luggage or items they are carrying," Buchhorn said in a statement.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...