10 Dec 2014

Kiwi's girlfriend released in Guangzhou

6:42 am on 10 December 2014

Australia's department of Foreign Affairs says the Chinese authorities have released an Australian woman who was facing the death penalty over drug charges. Kalynda Davis, who's 22, is back in Australia after two weeks behind bars in China.

Kalynda Davis

Kalynda Davis Photo: MySpace

Ms Davis and her partner, 25-year-old New Zealander Peter Gardiner, were arrested at Guangzhou airport, allegedly caught with 36kg of methampetamine in their luggage.

The fate of Mr Gardiner is unclear and he is understood to remain in police custody in China.

More on this story

The pair tried to board a flight for Australia out of Guangzhou International airport, but Chinese customs officials told the ABC that ice appeared on a scan of their luggage.

They were accused of trying to import the drug into Australia and potentially faced the death penalty for the crime.

Australian authorities have confirmed Ms Davis has been released without charge and has returned home, according to the Australian department of Foreign Affairs.

There is a flourishing drug trade between southern China and Australia and in recent times increased cooperation between the Australian Federal Police and their Chinese counterparts has led to a series of major busts.

Ms Davis's parents released a statement through their lawyers, saying her return home was a clear statement of her innocence.

"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."

Peter Gardiner

Peter Gardiner Photo: Facebook

The ABC reported that the family thanked a number of organisations, including the Australian Consulate-General and staff for their "dedication and work in negotiating with the Chinese Government and authorities", the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and "Paul Blunt and the staff at Bell Lawyers and our solicitors in China, Wang Jing and Co".

The family also thanked Chinese authorities for their "professional and honourable investigation of this matter".

The statement concluded with well-wishes for the family of Mr Gardner.

"We will continue to pray for Peter and your family, you are always in our thoughts," the statement said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs