The Queensland police have arrested a fifty-year-old woman suspected of having put needles and pins in strawberries. For weeks “complicated research” preceded this with national cooperation from various Australian government departments. The affair caused a major stir in Australia.
On 12 September, the Queensland police warned that needles were found throughout the country in strawberries that had been bought in the supermarket. At least one customer bit into a strawberry that contained a needle and had to go to the hospital for care.
The incidents led to a national ‘strawberry crisis’. Several supermarkets stuck a warning on the fruit bowls and tons of strawberries were dumped because they were not sold. The harvest of the affected growers was removed from the market preventively and destroyed.
In addition, later needles were found in other fruit, including apples and bananas, but that was perhaps the work of “copycats”, according to the local authorities. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not impressed by the pinpricks. And speak of “cowards” Who jeopardize the employment of fellow countrymen.
15 years in prison
The fifty-year-old woman was arrested today in Queensland. She probably gets to hear the accusations today and is then appear in court in Brisbane on Monday. Because the investigation has not yet been completed, the public prosecutor did not want to say anything about her. The crisis also ensured that the Australian parliament swiftly approved stricter penalties for “contaminating food”. The woman thereby risks a prison sentence of up to fifteen years.
The authorities praised a reward of 100,000 dollars for the golden tip that would lead to a detention. It is not yet clear whether it actually come in. The police stated in the announcement that more information is welcome and asked witnesses to continue to report.