THE WORLDPOST
11/21/2011 01:45 pm ET Updated Nov 21, 2011

Shampoo Mistaken For Ecstasy: Neil Parry, Australian Man, Awarded $100,000 In Damages

An Australian man who was wrongfully accused of smuggling liquid ecstasy inside shampoo bottles has been awarded $100,000 in damages, according to report from the BBC.

Neil Parry was arrested in June, 2010 at the Darwin International Airport by Australian Customs and Border Protection Service agents who believed he was attempting to smuggle 3.5 pounds of liquid ecstasy inside Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner bottles.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Parry said he spent three days in jail and that agents searched his boat and the homes of two friends, kicking off a legal battle that lasted 17 months.

"The usual answer is something must have been going on and I can assure you nothing was going on," Parry told ABC News.

Australian Customs and Border Protection officials issued a statement Monday saying that "mistakes were made during the presumptive testing of Mr. Parry's goods," according to CBC News.

Now, Parry has been issued a formal apology as well as a $100,000 settlement, most of which Parry said would go toward legal expenses incurred in the struggle to prove his innocence.

"It is not worth it," Parry told ABC Radio, according to news.com.au. "I would rather it never happened."

A 2003 study by the United Nations found that Australia had the highest levels of ecstasy use in the world, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald. After Australia, the country with the next highest ecstasy use was Ireland (2.4 percent), followed by Britain (2.2 percent), Spain (1.8 percent), Belgium (1.7 percent) and the U.S. (1.5 percent).

Photo by Flickr user Cormac Heron

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