IT is really saddening to learn that another Sarawakian woman has been caught in Australia for drug trafficking.
This Bidayuh woman, another nursing student — what’s going on here? — was apparently caught in Perth, even more sadly, on Dec 25 — Christmas Day!
What’s even worse, she allegedly swallowed a capsule filled with about 50 pills that could have contained heroin or methamphetamine.
The capsule burst in her stomach, so she could actually have died!
She was instead caught by Australian authorities.
In January last year, Australian Federal Police issued a press release on the dangers of smuggling drugs through internal concealment (by swallowing them) into the country.
The AFP warned internal drug couriers that regardless of their medical condition, they will be charged for trafficking drugs and face severe penalties in Australia.
AFP Superintendent Crime Operations Stephan Obers said such drug mules put their lives in danger with every pellet they swallow or conceal.
“In the vast majority of these matters, the drugs involved are heroin or cocaine and can be up to 90 per cent pure. If only one pellet with a few grams of these drugs ruptures inside a person, they are looking at a fatal overdose,” said Obers.
“Sometimes a person is fortunate enough to undergo emergency surgery, but these procedures are very traumatic and invasive, and can lead to life-long complications, such as the need for colostomy bags (removable, disposable bags that attach to the outside opening of a colostomy stoma to collect faeces) and dialysis.
“Internal concealment demonstrates what an evil trade drug trafficking is. It shows the desperate measures people will take, to the extent of risking their own life, to smuggle illicit drugs.”
In the press statement, Federal Australian Medical Association Vice-President Dr Steve Hambleton emphasised the health risks associated with people smuggling drugs inside their body.
“Drugs are lethal in overdose and will be rapidly absorbed into your body.”
“In the past, concealments have failed with deadly consequences as medical rescue is usually too late to help, or fails due to the massive doses delivered to the body.” Dr Hambleton said.
As a nursing student, this woman who tried to smuggle the drugs into Perth –she has not been named — really should have known better.
Unlike Beatrice Laus Johie, who carried 1.5kg of heroin in her luggage into Melbourne and has since pleaded guilty, this latest drug mule cannot plead ignorance.
Beatrice’s fingerprints where not found on the packaging for the drugs. There is a chance she really did not know what was in the suitcase.
The woman in the Christmas Day case swallowed the drug-filled capsule. She knew the risks but did it anyway.
The maximum penalty for smuggling drugs into Australia internally is 25 years imprisonment and/or a A$550,000 (that’s over RM1.78 million) fine.
“I urge people who may be considering acting as a drug courier to think again. This crime is just not worth the risk,” Superintendent Obers added.
Sadly this latest drug mule did not read the AFP press release issued on Jan 30, 2011.
If she did, she might not have endangered her health and destroyed what would have been a bright career as future as a healthcare professional.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Richard Riot Jaem has blamed foreigners for tricking Sarawakian women into trying to earn a quick buck.
He said on many occassions the women met the foreign men through social networking sites.
The men, he said, would shower the women with goods and money to make them fall in love before proceeding to make them drug mules.
“As far as we know, they (drug mules) are only paid a total of RM5,000, where RM2,000 is paid to get the drugs to the destination and another RM3,000 once they are back in Malaysia,” Datuk Riot said.
Please women of Sarawak! Don’t allow yourselves to be tricked any more.
Please warn your friends, sisters, cousins, all your female relatives. Don’t allow them and don’t allow yourselves to become drug mules.
The Sunday Post’s report:
Another lass in Aussie police custody for drug offence
KUCHING: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem is reluctant to discuss the latest drug mule case to emerge involving a Bidayuh lass in police custody in Perth, Australia since Dec 25, 2011.
The girl allegedly swallowed about 50 pills believed to be heroin or methamphetamine. The penalty for this is expected to be heavier than smuggling drugs into Australia in bags.
“I know the father very well and we spoke personally after he came to Kuala Lumpur to collect her belongings at the private college where her daughter studied nursing,” Riot said during the closing of the Children’s Act Seminar at Serian community hall yesterday.
He said the lass’ parents were emotionally devastated and her mother had not eaten since Dec 25. Riot who is also Serian MP said the girl and her family did not wish to be named.
Riot said the modus operandi of swallowing pills before excreting them was common in drug smuggling.
“She was caught when the capsule she swallowed broke in her stomach,” Riot said, adding that it was fortunate she did not die from an overdose.
Riot said six Malaysian ladies were in Melbourne prison for trafficking drugs into the country just two months after Beatrice Laus Johie pleaded guilty in Australia’s magistrates’ court on Jan 9.
“We are advised by the legal division in Wisma Putra not to publicise the case to avoid influencing the outcome of the sentence on Feb 1,” said Riot who assured that the welfare of the ladies was being taken care of by the Australian authorities.
He hopes that without publicity from the Malaysian or Australian media, the sentence would be lighter with the first charge of drug possession dropped.
“It’s better for everyone, especially Beatrice, not to talk about it,” Riot said, adding that he would be happy if the sentence for Beatrice was dropped to a year’s jail.
“It (the situation) is getting from bad to worst, which is why I’m not holding a press conference as it’s so sad,” Riot said.
He feared that more cases would spring up as soon as he opened his mouth.
“Our innocent ladies are hoodwinked for quick money by these Nigerians,” Riot said, adding that most of them befriended the men from social networking sites.
He said the man would pamper the ladies with goods and money to make them fall in love before proceeding to make them drug mules.
“As far as we know, they (drug mules) are only paid a total of RM5,000, where RM2,000 is paid to get the drug to the destination and another RM3,000 once they are back in Malaysia,” Riot said.
He said he would be happy if not a single person from Sarawak got involved in drug smuggling from this year onwards.
According to statistics, a total of 988 Malaysians were languishing in jail around the globe, serving time or waiting to be sentenced, Riot said.
“Out of that figure, half are facing the death penalty,” Riot said of the staggering number.