Gran, 82, arrested after ‘trafficking £2.6m-worth cocaine’ breaks her silence

An elderly grandma has claimed she's “never” touched drugs after becoming one of the oldest Australians charged with drug trafficking offences.

Evdocia 'Effie' Phelivanidis, from Adelaide, was charged alongside her 30-year-old grandson Kosta Phelivanidis after South Australia police raided her home of 56 years on Wednesday.

On Friday, Ms Phelivanidis broke her silence, telling 7 News she didn’t know why police arrested her, and she’d never touched any drugs.

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“Never! Never smoked, never nothing,” she said.

She said there was a box, allegedly found by police containing drugs, but didn’t know what was in it.

“It’s just a box with sticks," she said.

“I don’t know (if it was delivered) by the post office man or a different man.”

Friends added Phelivanidis was a "really lovely lady" and was suffering from memory and health problems after the death of her 85-year-old husband – also known as Kostas – four years ago.

"We're all shocked. When I heard the news I thought 'no way, not Effie' – I would not have thought she knew what it was," said one neighbour.

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Another neighbour described her as an "avid sewer" who "loves her family" and uses a walking frame to "travel up the street and hug friends".

Police estimated the quantity's street value at $3.2 million (£2.6m).

"This is another example of the unwavering determination of Serious and Organised Crime Branch detectives to stop the flow of dangerous illicit drugs into South Australia," Detective Superintendent Billy Thompson said in a statement.

"This amount of cocaine, with a street value of about $3.2 million, could have caused enormous harm to our community."

The woman and man have been released on bail and are scheduled to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates' Court on April 12.

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