Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state in Australia, where the man stood trial. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

An Australian man accused of bringing cocaine into Australia was found not guilty by a court in Queensland last Friday after he claimed he was tricked by a Filipino woman he met online.

In 2016, Steven Nobbs, 34, said he was asked by a woman who went by the name of “Loral Williams” to travel to the Philippines. Nobbs said he met Williams through a dating app and had a two-year online relationship with her, the ABC reported.

Nobbs said the Filipina asked him to collect a suitcase from a hotel in the Philippines. She told him the suitcase was a gift for someone in Australia. Nobbs said he was asked not to declare anything on his return to Australia, but he did so and said he had foodstuffs and medication.

Authorities at Brisbane International Airport found 14 packages containing more than three kilograms of cocaine in the lining of the suitcase. Nobbs was arrested and accused of smuggling drugs into the country.

Last Friday in the Queensland Supreme Court, Nobbs was found not guilty of smuggling drugs. The court heard that messages between the couple showed the Filipina coaxed Nobbs into bringing the “gift” back to Australia.

The court also heard that Nobbs had regularly sent money to Williams, totaling about US$20,000. When he expressed hesitation about sending the money, Williams would question their relationship.

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