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Delayed Departure for Manila

Philippine Woman Sentenced to Eight Years for Smuggling Sabu-Sabu into Bali

(10/7/2011) A 32-year-old Philippine woman, Maria Cecilia Lopez, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of trying to smuggle 324.87 grams of methamphetamine through Bali’s airport.

According to the National News Agency Antara, the woman was also fined Rp. 2 billion (US$222,000) that if unpaid will add an additional 6 months to Lopez’s sentence.

The sentence meted out by the courts was two years less than the 10 years sought by prosecutors.

The woman has accepted the sentence of the court. Prosecutors, however,  have the option of appealing the sentence if they consider the punishment too lenient.

Lopez was arrested on April 15, 2011, at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport after disembarking from a Thai Airway's flight. A search conducted by customs officials that included a USG scan eventually revealed 41 capsules concealed in the woman’s digestive tract.

Lopez freely admitted to the crime, claiming she was to have received US$2,400 for smuggling the drugs into Bali and transporting them for eventual delivery to Jakarta. She also admitted that prior to her Bali arrest she had successfully smuggled drugs form Bangkok to Africa.