Twist for alleged gold gun smuggler
A heavily tattooed American traveller is fighting to be released from jail after she was allegedly busted trying to smuggle a 24-karat gold-plated pistol into Australia in her hand luggage.
Liliana Goodson was arrested on April 23 after Australian Border Force officials claim they found a handgun hidden in her hand luggage when she touched down in Sydney.
An X-ray machine at Sydney Airport allegedly detected the golden gun inside Ms Goodson’s hand luggage after she flew into the country from Los Angeles.
The weapon is a gold-plated Colt 45-style pistol with pearl inlay, which is estimated to be valued at more than $2000. The gun was not loaded.
ABF officials claim the precious pistol is unregistered and Ms Goodson does not have a permit to carry or import a firearm in Australia.
The court heard the 28-year-old has been in custody for more than a week after being charged with importing an unauthorised illegal firearm.
Well-known lawyer Bryan Wrench has been engaged to represent her, the court was told.
Commonwealth prosecutor Blake Lovely told the court Ms Goodson was granted bail on April 24 on the condition that she deposit $10,000 to be forfeited if she fails to attend court.
However, she failed to adhere to the requirement and has remained behind bars on remand for 13 days.
Mr Lovely told the court that the 28-year-old was fighting to be released on Monday and given three days to pay the deposit.
The court heard the American traveller will reside at a luxury boutique hotel in Bondi when she is released.
As part of her bail conditions, Ms Goodson has been ordered to surrender her passport and prohibited from applying for a replacement.
Magistrate Margaret Quinn adjourned the matter until Monday, when she will review the alleged gun smuggler’s bail conditions.
If convicted of the offence, Ms Goodson is facing a maximum of ten years behind bars.
Depending on the outcome of the criminal charges, her visa could also be cancelled and she could be deported back to the US.
ABF Commander Justin Bathurst said the seizure of the prohibited firearm was a win for “Australia’s first and most important line of defence”.
“Time and time again, we have seen just how good ABF officers are at targeting and stopping illegal, and highly dangerous, goods from crossing Australia‘s border,” he said.