Australian woman on drugs charges comes home
AN AUSTRALIAN woman accused of trying to import drugs from China has returned home but her Kiwi boyfriend is still facing a possible death sentence.
Kalynda Davis, 22, was expected to face a Chinese court this week charged with trying to smuggle 75kg of methamphetamine to Australia with New Zealander Peter Gardner.
Ms Davis' family confirmed yesterday their daughter was back home.
"We have always known Kalynda to be innocent of these allegations," her parents said in a statement distributed by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "Her return home today is a clear statement of her innocence."
Ms Davis, from Sydney, was reported missing to NSW police by a family member on November 5. On the same day, she and Gardner flew to Guangzhou in China.
It is believed they were due to return on November 8 but were intercepted by Chinese authorities. It is believed she had met Gardner through the dating-app Tinder just weeks earlier.
In China, drug trafficking convictions carry the death penalty. Gardner could be sentenced to death by firing squad if convicted.
The NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade earlier confirmed it was aware of the charges against Gardner.
"Consular assistance is being provided to Mr Gardner by the New Zealand Consulate-General in Guangzhou," a spokeswoman told the Herald. "The Consul-General has visited Mr Gardner in the detention centre to check on his well-being. He has legal representation."
The Sydney Morning Herald said Ms Davis's parents, Larry and Jenny Davis, had hired lawyers in Sydney and China to secure her return. They praised Chinese officials for their "professional and honourable investigation".
They said that they were praying for Gardner's return. "To the family of Mr Peter Gardner, we will continue to pray for Peter and your family. You are always in our thoughts."
The Sydney Morning Herald described Ms Davis as a gifted basketball player and former private school student. It said her father worked at ANZ and had previously been a police officer.