An Australian woman has been set free without charges by Guangzhou authorities after it appeared she may face the death penalty for suspected drug trafficking.
Kalynda Davis, 22, was arrested while in possession of 36 kilograms of methamphetamine. Local authorities discovered the drugs during a security check, and suspected they were to be smuggled to Australia.
Davis was arrested with her boyfriend, Peter Gardiner, a 25 year-old New Zealand native. He remains in police custody and there’s no word if charges against him have been dropped.
Daily Mail Australia reports that the Gardiner and Davis knew each other for a couple of weeks before deciding to fly from Sydney International Airport to Guangzhou.
The Davis family has released a letter thanking authorities for Davis’ release.
“We are happy to have Kalynda back home. We have always known Kalynda to be innocent of these allegations,” the statement said. “Her return home today is a clear statement of her innocence.”
The family also thanked Chinese authorities for their “professional and honorable investigation of this matter.”
Blake Tatafu, a friend of Davis for over ten years, had difficulty believing the charges against her since she is ”definitely incapable of doing something like this”.
Davis had attended a Christian school and was raised in a well-off family in the west end of Sydney.
Michael Kulakovski, Gardiner’s former employer, expressed concern about the man’s fate. “He was doing really good, he had a lot of work and he was earning good money. (I) don’t know why he’s done this.”
Kulakovski added, “To be caught with substance in China is possibly one of the worst nations to be caught in.”
Under Chinese law, anyone charged with possessing a “large quantity” of methamphetamine, heroin, or other drugs are subject to capital punishment.