The Australian Police have arrested a woman in connection with the strawberry needle scare that affected the fruit industry in the country earlier this year. Photos and videos of people who found needles in strawberries had flooded social networking sites in September. Many people who bought the fruit from supermarkets complained of finding sewing needles in them. With supermarkets pulling strawberries off their rack, farmers were the most affected. The Queensland Police on November 11 said that a 50-year-old was arrested following a "complex investigation".
A police taskforce consisting of State Crime Command conducted the investigation along with detectives. The woman was arrested this afternoon and is to be charged this evening. She will be produced before the Brisbane Magistrate Court tomorrow. Needle Fear in Australia and New Zealand After Strawberry With Needle Stuck Inside Leaves a Man Hospitalised in Queensland.
The national scare gained international headlines after Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison hit out at the miscreants while talking to the media saying the behaviour would "carry a penalty of upto 10 years prison".
Morrison had said, "It's not a joke, it's not funny. You are putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk, and you are scaring children... and you're a coward and a grub. This is a shocking and cowardly thing for this individual and others who have jumped onto the bandwagon here to have engaged in."
Watch the video here:
After the contamination scare, the government of Queensland had offered a 100,000 Australian dollar ($72,000) reward for information leading on the person responsible for causing the needle scare. Some had reported needle scare in apples, mangoes and bananas bought from supermarkets.
Here is Queensland Police's notification on the arrest:
— Pippa Sheehan (@PipSheehan) November 11, 2018
Earlier, a young boy from New South Wales (NSW) was arrested for causing the scare and terming it as a 'prank'. Around 13 people publicly complained after finding needles in their strawberries and some were arrested after eating it. Morrison had also announced tougher penalties for food tampering. According to tot he new laws, offences can lead to a maximum prison of 15 years. Supporting farmers affected by the incident Morrison shared a recipe for strawberry pavlova used by his wife. Following strawberry scare, New Zealand stopped the import of strawberries from Australia.