A Thai golf caddy who planned to marry her fiance next month was arrested at Melbourne Airport on Good Friday allegedly carrying 13,000 high-quality anabolic steroid tablets.
After yesterday being bailed, Arisa Pantaeng, 28, embraced her fiance, who had waited for her while customs officers searched her after a flight from Bangkok, outside court.
A senior customs investigator told Melbourne Magistrates Court that Pantaeng had enough steroids for personal use to last about 26 years and which were worth up to $65,000 on the black market.
Investigator Peter Blackmore said most of the pink, hexagonal-shaped tablets were found in her carry-on luggage, while more were found in cut-off stockings after an external search of ”bulges” around her groin.
He told the court Saturday’s arrival was Pantaeng’s fourth in Australia in 14 months and that she claimed steroids were freely available in Thailand. He said Pantaeng, a mother of two, faced a maximum sentence of five years’ jail if found guilty.
Mr Blackmore told the court the tablets’ ”active ingredient” was five milligrams per tablet and that generally, depending on the size of the user, about 10 would be taken per week.
Mr Blackmore said her fiance Thoredahl ”Todd” Shannon, who was unaware of the alleged importation, had sponsored her visit on a spousal visa.
He could not dispute defence lawyer Jonathan Miller’s suggestion their wedding was booked for May 21 and that her previous visits were short because she did not have a longer visa.
Prosecutor Tracy Campbell opposed bail for Pantaeng on a charge of importing a tier 2 good because of a flight risk, lack of ties to Australia and the seriousness of the charge.
Mr Miller submitted the prosecution had not shown Pantaeng was an unacceptable risk on bail and that ultimately it was not certain she would be jailed. He told magistrate Donna Bakos that Mr Shannon played ”professional sport” and worked in advertising while the couple planned a life and business together in sports catering.
In granting bail, Ms Bakos said strict conditions could address concerns.
Pantaeng was ordered to live at Frankston, report to police, surrender her passport and not apply for any travel documents. Pantaeng will appear again in June.