"They want all this to go away, they want me to go away, vanish, rot in this hellhole for 20 years ... let the public forget the terrifying truth ... that an innocent holiday on one of their planes ripped my life apart. It can happen to anyone. It did happen to anyone ... but that anyone was me.."
Federal police say "it is a recognised criminal activity" for drug dealers to use innocent travellers as unsuspecting "mules". They have arrested baggage handlers at Sydney Airport for the offence. Drugs are inserted in luggage at one airport and a photograph of the target bag and its tag are emailed to the destination airport, where baggage handlers recover the drugs before the passenger collects the bag. Sydney Morning Herald, March 5 2005
According to this man, who is now in witness protection, Hurley was involved in smuggling almost 10 kilograms of cocaine on October 8 - and a Qantas baggage handler codenamed Tom was involved in collecting the briefcase from the drug mule. Sydney Morning Herald
"The Qantas security manager sacked last month might have had access to leaked confidential information about passenger alert lists, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.
The paper also stated that Alan Conwell, a former drug-squad detective, was previously mentioned adversely during a 1996 police royal commission.
He was then caught on phone taps trying to help an associate of fugitive Michael Hurley avoid prosecution, the paper said.
“We have terminated the contract of a security manager,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.
“He joined us from Ansett and his contract was terminated as a result of an ongoing internal investigation.”
Hurley is currently sought over allegations that he used Qantas baggage handlers to smuggle cocaine into Australia from South America." Travel Weekly
Equally, however, it is certain to increase pressure for answers to questions relating to missing CCTV footage from the same airport, which Schapelle Corby desperately pleaded for, to support her defence that her luggage did not contain drugs at check-in. Such footage was never forthcoming, amidst a range of claims, including that the cameras were not operating. Now, given proof of the timing, how credible is it that those cameras were switched off, in the midst of such a large international drug smuggling operation?
ROSS COULTHART: Are there any incidents that you are aware of where passengers have been the unwitting victims of drug syndicates moving drugs around Australia.
GEOFF ASKEW, QANTAS HD SECURITY: It's never been reported to me that any Qantas passenger has had their bag used to transport drugs.Channel 9