An Australian woman faces the death penalty after being caught at Kuala Lumpur airport allegedly carrying 1.5kg of methamphetamine, also known as ‘meth’ or ‘ice’.
The 51 year-old mother of four from Sydney was in transit, travelling between Shanghai and Melbourne, when she was apprehended and searched by Malaysian officials on 07 December, according to Fairfax Media.
Under Malaysia’s notoriously strict anti-drugs laws, the woman could be hanged if found guilty of carrying over 50 grams of methamphetamine.
It is expected that the Malaysian authorities will ask court to remand the woman in custody on Sunday.
The woman, who is yet to engage a lawyer, is being provided with consular assistance by The Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, according to Fairfax.
The Sydney mother is not the first Australian to face Malaysia’s harsh capital punishment drugs laws. In 1986, Australians Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were famously the first westerners to be executed under the Malaysia’s then new anti-drugs laws after being arrested and convicted of trafficking heroin.
Another Australian, Michael McAuliffe, was hanged in 1993 after being caught with heroin in his pocket at a Malaysian airport security check-point.
Dominic Bird, a 34 year-old from Western Australia, was acquitted in July this year following a two year legal battle against drugs charges relating to his arrest at his apartment in Kuala Lumpur in 2012. His successful defence alleged police corruption and has added to calls for a moratorium and rethink on Malaysia’s death penalty drugs laws.
This latest case comes just a week after an Australian couple who met on the Tinder dating app were arrested in China for allegedly being in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine.
22-year-old Kalynda Davis has since returned home under cloudy circumstances while her partner, 25-year-old Peter Gardiner, remains in custody in China.
IMAGE: Malaysian airport sign warning about drugs trafficking. (By Sam DCruz / Shutterstock.com)