If you like playing Asia’s best golf courses don’t take your own clubs. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison said yesterday, “...taskforce Pharos is designed to catch corrupt customs officials, following a series of scandals involving agents and their links to drug importation and outlaw motorcycle gangs”.
Eight customs officials have already been arrested.
I have often travelled to Asia with mates to play some of the best courses in the world. Hope to go again soon but this time I will hire my clubs from the course rather than risk facing a firing squad.
In the past I have booked into Brisbane airport with my clubs as “oversized luggage”. The golf bag was weighed, I was given a collect slip and I didn’t see my golf bag again until I arrived at my destination.
I have caught a plane to Mascot, hopped on a bus to the International Terminal, arrived somewhere in an Asian airport and collected my golf bag.
My bag has just made the same trip, but without me.
Now I don’t know about your golf bag but mine has voluminous pockets with zips. The zips do not have locks. In fact I have never seen a golf bag with locks.
What Scott Morrison is referring to is that I may well have unknowingly been a drug mule.
Interstate drug trafficking is carried out by baggage handlers who use open luggage to ship illicit drugs between terminals.
Okay, the dodgy Brisbane baggage handler has called his Sydney counterpart to tell him the drugs are in a black ostrich skin golf bag.
The stuff is removed from my bag at Sydney and I have no idea I have just been part of a national drug distribution ring.
But what if the Sydney baggage handler knew he was being watched and dared not touch my bag. What if he was called away or was sick that day? What if he simply forgot or had a panic attack?
Well, in that case I am going to arrive at my Asian destination with kilos of drugs stuffed in my bag.
I will be asked if it’s my bag. I will say yes. I will be asked if anyone else has packed it. I will say no.
When I am asked to open it, I will happily do so to my dismay. Now it appears I’m a gonner!
Hey, but all’s not lost. Brisbane airport weighed my bag... phew, there will be a documented weight difference between then and now.
But dammit, you wouldn’t believe it, the weigh ticket has mysteriously disappeared.
No worries, the CCTV cameras will show my bag being tampered with. But blimey, the camera footage at three separate airports has also mysteriously disappeared! Crumbs!
Oh well, at least they can do a DNA test on the drugs to pinpoint their origin. I know that will clear me. Uh oh, the Asian Customs officials have just taken it all away and burnt it!
Now I’m in trouble and I can’t expect those responsible to admit their guilt to save me facing a firing squad and my Government will not interpose a foreign judicial system to help me.
Bugger! I was really looking forward to that game of golf.