In what must surely be one of the worst family Christmas breaks on record, an Australian family were snarled up in a police sting after unwittingly renting a drug lab. As you do.
After renting a nice little house on Australia’s Gold Coast for a family getaway over Christmas, the Winklers were completely unaware that their Airbnb home was actually a fully functioning drug den.
Jacquie Young and her partner Dieter Winkler were setting up a barbecue and waiting for extended family to arrive, when eight plain-clothes officers rocked up with guns and crowbars, intent on busting the hidden lab.
Ms Young said:
I think we’ll be able to laugh about it soon, but at the moment I’m still a bit annoyed because we were so looking forward to the holiday. A week late I’m still absolutely gobsmacked that people can be so aware of what they’re doing and so selfish … but putting people’s live at risk is a really despicable act.
After being questioned by officer’s for five hours, they were finally told that a locked room in the house was packed with cannabis plants. They had been asked not to enter the room by the owner, who had it blocked with a bookcase and said it was undergoing renovations.
Airbnb, who the house was rented through, confirmed that the family has been fully reimbursed and their alternative accommodation paid for.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said:
While incidents like this are incredibly rare, we take them very seriously… There is absolutely no place for this sort of activity on Airbnb and this property has been banned.
Next time you go away with granny and grampy, you might want to double check all the rooms for a hidden drug lab. Just in case.