In a tormenting tale, a mother and daughter duo were forced to spend around four months in an Australian jail after authorities mistakenly identified tea as drugs. … Vun Pui “Connie” Chong and her daughter, San Yan Melanie Lim.
When Vun Pui “Connie” Chong and her daughter, San Yan Melanie Lim, imported 25 kilograms of brown ginger tea into Australia this year, they intended to sell it at a marked-up rate. The beverage is a well-known remedy for period pain in the women’s home country of Malaysia. All going to plan, they stood to make a profit of about $90 AUD.
It didn’t. Instead, heavily-armed police officers raided Chong and Lim’s home in southwest Sydney in January, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officials intercepted the tea packets at the international airport and wrongly identified their contents as amphetamine.
The women were arrested and jailed for four months – despite the fact that authorities were made aware of problems with the tests used to identify the substance in the weeks and months following.
Chong and Lim are now suing for costs, which the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has refused to pay. The case has been adjourned to March.