A female flight attendant who is suspected of trying to smuggle 6kg of cocaine into Perth Airport has been named as Priya Govender.
The 32-year-old South African Airways (SAA) worker was arrested on August 18 after arriving at Perth from Johannesburg with the drugs allegedly hidden inside six hollowed-out books.
The identity of Ms Govender was made public after SAA revealed one of its employees had been placed into custody on drug charges.
It has been reported that Australian authorities suspected Ms Govender prior to her arrival and chose her for a baggage examination once she reached customs.
Upon the discovery of the six small packages the flight attendant was charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
It has not yet been made known whether Ms Govender hoped to pass the drugs onto someone in Australia as no further arrests have been made at this time.
The offence itself carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
According to the 32-year-old’s Facebook page Ms Govender is engaged to her South African partner Dane Francis and they were looking to get married in the coming year.
Since her arrest the SAA worker has closed her social media account.
A spokesman for SAA told The Post newspaper in Durban that all flight crews undergo security screening but it doesn’t specifically look for drugs.
‘Security screening processes are aimed at the detection of explosives, weapons or harmful articles to prevent acts of unlawful interference with aircraft operations and safety issues, and not necessarily to detect contraband,’ the spokesman told the newspaper.’
Ms Govender is due to face court on Wednesday.