Big mistake Bali schoolies make
It's that time of year where thousands of excited school leavers head off for a week of partying and drinking to celebrate the end of high school.
Hoards of teenagers descend on the Gold Coast each year but Bali is also a well-known party spot and it is becoming an increasingly popular option for schoolies.
More than 6000 school leavers head to Bali every year and for many it can be very tempting to take advantage of their different laws surrounding weapons and other exotic goods.
Items like flick knives and stun guns, which are illegal in Australia, can often be easily purchased in Bali.
But Australian Border Force officials have warned that purchasing one as a souvenir can lead to a hefty fine and even jail time.
ABF Port Operations Command, Acting Assistant Commissioner Claire Rees said trying to sneak prohibited items back into the country could ruin their end of year celebrations.
"Those travelling overseas for Schoolies may think items such as laser pointers, flick knives, and shock devices make nice souvenirs or gifts, but if you are caught bringing them back into Australia, they could cost you more than you bargained for," Ms Rees said.
Even a laser pointer, which might not seem like a dangerous item to some, can lead to a $210,000 fine if it is brought back into Australia.
This is because the laser pointers on sale in Bali can often be powerful enough to blind someone.
Last year's schoolies saw officers seize a range of weapons including firearms, knives, knuckledusters and BB guns.
Other banned items include pepper spray, electric shock devices, nunchucks and extendible batons.
Many teens also attempt to bring back illicit and performance enhancing drugs, which can land them serious trouble.
ABF officers have even found exotic animals stowed away in the luggage of schoolies, with Seven News reporting one teen tried to bring back a snake in a bottle.
"Many of these items are legal in some countries, but they can be incredibly dangerous and are restricted in Australia, so people really need to do their research," Ms Rees said.
"If you bring in these items, you may face prosecution and it could negatively impact your chances to work for certain employers and in certain professions, travel to and work in certain countries."
If you are bringing items back and you are unsure whether it is allowed or not, officers say it is better to be on the safe side and declare it.
Ms Rees said that while young Australians should have fun celebrating the end of school, they need "to be mindful that one mistake can have far reaching consequences".