A 68-year-old beekeeper from New Zealand unwittingly imported cocaine into Australia after he was tricked by a criminal enterprise who targeted him online, a Perth court has heard.
Roy Arbon flew from Brazil, via Dubai, to Perth in February last year and was found at the airport with 2.5 kilograms of 79 per cent pure cocaine hidden inside the lining of his suitcase.
Defence counsel Sarah Oliver told the District Court of WA on Monday her client was a good, innocent man who had fallen victim to online scams and opportunities for loans for his organic honey business in recent years.
She said Arbon, who previously did rescue work at disasters, was told the people who duped him represented international banks or finance organisations, and he didn't know they were involved in drug trafficking.
The jury was shown footage of Arbon being questioned by Australian Border Force officer Christopher Brown, who testified the accused replied "yes" when asked if he packed his bags himself, was fully aware of the contents and everything inside belonged to him.
Mr Brown told the court Arbon said he'd gone to Brazil to visit friends who he'd met when they worked on his New Zealand property, and had originally planned to go from Brazil to India but was turned back at the airport because he didn't have a yellow fever certificate.
The footage showed a narcotics detection dog reacted positively when walked past Arbon's suitcase by sitting down in front of it.
Arbon's trial is set down for four days.