KUALA LUMPUR - For a mere RM5,000($2,000), a 39-year-old Filipina risked her life to be a drug mule.
Now she faces the death penalty after she was caught trying to smuggle in 3kg of methamphetamine (syabu) at the KL International Airport (KLIA).
Police, acting on international intelligence, arrested the woman as she was walking out of the plane from New Delhi at 7.35am on Thursday.
Her check-in luggage was found to be stuffed with five large plastic packets of syabu with a street value of RM620,000.
The woman had hidden them under a layer of clothes and undergarments, said police, who also confiscated RM2,056 worth of different currencies from the suspect.
She first claimed she had no idea how the drugs got into her suitcase. However, she is now cooperating with police.
She is being remanded until Sept 3 and faces the mandatory death penalty if tried and found guilty under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
"This was her first time (smuggling). Such syndicates would usually use new people.
"Drug mules here on average are paid about RM5,000 per job - but please, it is not worth it," said Bukit Aman Narcotics CID director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, adding that police were now working with its counterpart in the Philippines to obtain details of the suspect's background.
Comm Noor Rashid said police had foiled 20 drug-smuggling attempts at KLIA and the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) this year.
Police have arrested 18 drug mules, mostly Iranians, and have stopped about RM9.44mil worth of cocaine, psychotropic pills and syabu from being brought into the country.
The highest quantity involved syabu because international drug syndicates could double their profits by selling it in the country, he said at Bukit Aman here yesterday.