Flight attendant arrested in Perth with 6kg of cocaine hidden in bags

Cocaine Photo credit: Getty

A woman charged with attempting to smuggle 6kg of cocaine into Australia via Perth Airport has been named as a South African Airways (SAA) flight attendant.

Priya Govender, 32, was arrested on August 18 after arriving in Perth from Johannesburg on a SAA flight.

It is alleged that the drugs were concealed inside six hollowed out books inside Ms Govender's luggage.

News that Ms Govender worked for the airline was made public on the weekend when SAA confirmed to media outlets in South Africa that a person in their employ was in custody in Perth on drugs charges.

She had been employed by the company for seven years and was on duty when she was arrested. The Australian authorities received a tip off about Ms Govender's arrival and examined her bags when she reached customs.

The Australian Federal Police have charged Ms Govender with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. The Commonwealth offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

According to the SAA flight crews were subjected to security screening by the airline each time the boarded a plane but this did not specifically look for drugs.