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June 22, 2013

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Drug smugglers get death with reprieve

TWO foreigners were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for transporting a total of 4.8 kilograms of cocaine from South America to Shanghai, the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court ruled yesterday in separate cases.

A 38-year-old Paraguayan woman identified as Estigarribia transported 3.3 kilograms of cocaine from Brazil to Shanghai on January 9, the court said.

Customs inspectors told the court Estigarribia looked nervous when she passed through the nothing-to-declare passage at Pudong International Airport. Her cellphone also kept ringing, which aroused their attention.

They stopped her and found seven packages of white powder in her underwear. The powder had a cocaine content of 56.4 percent, the court said.

Estigarribia pleaded guilty and said she was incited by drug dealers in Brazil to transport the cocaine to Shanghai.

In the other case, a 54-year-old man identified as Correa transported nearly 1.5 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Shanghai on February 9.

The court said customs inspectors spotted unusual shadows in his luggage via X-ray. Four packages of white powder were seized after Correa was asked to open his suitcase. The white powder contained a cocaine content of 54.7 percent, according to an examination.

Correa said he was threatened by drug dealers in Colombia to transport the drugs to China. They paid for his flight and promised him US$2,000 if he successfully delivered the cocaine, Correa told the court.

Since both confessed, the court sentenced them to death with a reprieve.

According to Chinese law, those who transport more than 50 grams of cocaine can be sentenced to death.


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