2 months ago
Australian Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto being escorted from the court by cops. Photo by AP  ~ 

AN AUSTRALIAN gogo tricked into being a drug mule by an online sweetheart has been cleared of trafficking by a Malaysian court.

Malaysia is very harsh on drug traffickers. Those found guilty can be sentenced to death.

According to Coconuts, on Wednesday Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto (54) wept and hugged her son as the court found her not guilty of smuggling 1,1kgs of crystal meth, also known as “ice”.

She was bust with the drug at Kuala Lumpur airport in December 2014. The drugs were hidden in a secret compartment in the backpack she was carrying.

The court accepted her explanation that she had been tricked by someone she had met online called “Captain Daniel Smith”, who claimed to be an American serviceman. After a long online romance with Captain Smith, they arranged to meet up in Shanghai in eastern China. They failed to meet up, and instead Exposto met a stranger who asked her to take a backpack to Melbourne in Australia. She agreed.

When Exposto arrived in the Malaysian capital to catch her connecting flight to Australia, she got confused and went through customs by mistake. This is when the drugs were discovered in the backpack she carried.

Judge Ghazali Cha said at her trial: “I agree with the defence lawyer that the accused did not have knowledge about the drugs.

“I believe that at that time her feelings of love towards ‘Captain Daniel Smith’ overcame everything, including her own husband, her family and her future.”

Speaking as she left the courtroom, Exposto said: “I’m happy now that I’m free.”

There are at least 900 people on death row in Malaysia, according to the report, but few have been executed in recent years.


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