Strawberry needle crisis: Farmer worker has bail application rejected

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An Australian woman has been charged for allegedly hiding sewing needles inside strawberries bound for supermarkets across the country in a weird crime that left a number of people hospitalized and sparked a string of copycat incidents.

The woman, who is understood to be from Queensland, has been charged with seven counts of contamination of goods, which has a three-year maximum jail term.

The court in Brisbane on Monday heard that Ms Trinh's DNA had been found on strawberries in the state of Victoria.

She has faced court and will remain in custody, withdrawing her application for bail after the magistrate advised more evidence was required.

An Australian woman accused of hiding sewing needles inside strawberries in a high-profile sabotage case was motivated by spite, a court has heard.

"This has probably been one of the most trying investigations that I've been part of", Wacker told reporters before the court hearing in Brisbane, adding that a broader investigation was still ongoing.

"We reached out to our counterparts throughout Queensland and Australia, and as I said, it's 231 reports Australia-wide, so a fairly unique investigation impacting virtually every state and jurisdiction in Australia".

A 50-year-old woman in Australia has been taken in by authorities after a "complex investigation" into the alleged contamination of strawberries earlier this year.

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Queensland authorities notified the public of the safety risk on September 12, and reports of needle-filled strawberries cropped up in all of the Australian states in the subsequent weeks.

Police arrested My Ut Trinh, from Caboolture in Brisbane's north, yesterday afternoon.

Australia's multimillion-dollar strawberry industry suffered major financial losses, with fruit recalled from supermarket shelves and destroyed.

Detective John Walker said earlier on Monday that the investigation had been unique in that it involved nearly every state and jurisdiction in the country.

Police said there had been 186 reports of needle-contaminated strawberries since September, though 15 turned out to have been hoaxes.

Queensland Health officials issued a safety warning on September 12 after the discovery of needles hidden inside a punnet of strawberries.

The strawberry contamination scandal affected growers around the country, with tonnes of the fruits needing to be discarded in multiple states.

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