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Out of Africa In to Trouble

Bali Court Sentences South African Woman to 16 Years in Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Bali

(1/6/2012) The State News Agency Antara reports that the Denpasar District Court has sentenced a 46-year-old South African woman, Nomakorinte Christabell Nyolukana, to 16-years imprisonment after being declared guilty of trying to smuggle 1 kilogram of methamphetamine into Bali via the Ngurah Rai International Airport on September 3, 2011.

The court handed down the sentence on January 4, 2012, meting out a punishment that was two years longer than the 14 years demanded by prosecutors but less than the maximum penalty of death before a firing squad that could have been handed down in the case. In addition, the presiding judge levied a fine of Rp. 2 billion (US$222,000) against the woman that, if left unpaid, will add another year to the woman’s sentence.

Custom’s offices arrested the woman after she disembarked from a Qatar Airways flight, discovering the illicit drugs hidden in her pant’s pocket and inside her brassiere.

The woman, who works as a domestic servant, later told police that she was to be met in Bali by another South African woman, Rivombo. When police subsequently arrested Rivombi, they found a small quantity of methamphetamine on the second woman who later admitted her part in the smuggling operation.

The South African woman is still considering whether or not to appeal her sentence.