UK & World News

  • 22 January 2014, 17:07

British Drug Smuggler Escapes Death Penalty

A British woman has escaped the death penalty after admitting smuggling crystal meth into Indonesia from China.

Andrea Waldeck has instead been jailed for 14 years and fined £100,000.

The 43-year-old admitted to taking three pounds of the drug through an airport in Java in April hidden in her underwear, but claimed she was coerced into it by her boyfriend in exchange for around £3,000, according to her indictment.

The former Police Community Support Officer with Gloucestershire Police, who left the force in February 2012, hung her head as she was led down to the cells at the court in Surabaya.

The sentence was lower than the 16 years recommended by the prosecutor. Under the country's strict anti-drugs laws Waldeck could have been given a death sentence.

The judge in the case said: "Andrea Waldeck has been proven legally and convincingly guilty of offering to sell or become a middle person to sell drugs."

He added that the punishment was lenient because Waldeck had "honestly admitted her mistake, which helped the trial proceed smoothly".

The indictment against her said that Waldeck was arrested at a hotel after she managed to get through airport security with the drugs hidden in four plastic bags in her underwear.

It added that two members of a drugs gang had been on their way to the hotel to pick up the crystal meth, but police knew what was going on and got there first and arrested Waldeck.

She is considering whether to appeal against the ruling.

Waldeck is not the first foreigner to be punished in Indonesia for drug smuggling. 

Grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in January 2013 after being caught trying to smuggle £1.4m worth of cocaine into Bali. The sentence was unanimously upheld in August by Indonesia's Supreme Court.

On Monday, Frenchman Michael Blanc was freed on parole after 14 years in prison for transporting hash, a purified form of cannabis, into the country.

His early release has raised hopes that Australian Schapelle Corby, who was given a 20-year sentence for smuggling nine pounds of marijuana into Bali in 2005, might also be released.

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