independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Briton jailed for drug smuggling

Andrea Waldeck at her trial hearing at Surabaya District Court, Indonesia

An Indonesian court has sentenced a British woman to 14 years in prison after finding her guilty of drug smuggling.

Surabaya District Court also ordered Andrea Ruth Waldeck to pay a fine worth about £100,000.

The 43-year-old teacher from southern England was arrested last April after authorities reportedly found 3.25lb of methamphetamine in her hotel room in Surabaya, the capital of East Java province.

Waldeck, a former community support officer with Gloucestershire Police, had previously pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs worth more than £3,000 into Indonesia's second-largest city and could have faced the death penalty.

The Briton, who has also lived in Rustington in West Sussex, told authorities she had been asked by her boyfriend, who lived in China, to take the drugs to a man in Indonesia.

In a Facebook profile which appears to have been set up by Waldeck in July, she said: "My new, very private profile for the friends and family I love and miss so much. Your support means the world to me. I'm so very sorry I've disappointed you all."

In another message posted on July 12, she said: "Can't change my name or delete pics from this phone or answer messages individually but only my fb friends can see this. Please don't worry this is Indonesia and some have prison staff as friends."

In August, British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford lost her appeal against a death sentence for trafficking drugs into the resort island of Bali.

A three-judge panel at the Supreme Court in Jakarta unanimously rejected her appeal after agreeing with the decision taken by Bali's Denpasar district court.

The 57-year-old, from Cheltenham, was sentenced to death by firing squad after being found at Bali's airport with 10.6lb of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase, worth an estimated £1.6 million, during a routine customs check after she arrived on the Indonesian island on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand, in May.

Balinese police claim Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons, b ut she denies the allegations, claiming she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children, whose safety was at stake.

Under Indonesian law, Sandiford still has the opportunity to seek a judicial review of her case before appealing for a presidential pardon.

More than 140 people are on Death Row in Indonesia for drug crimes, a third of them foreigners.

Press Association

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