Insurance agent claims trial to drug trafficking

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KUCHING: An insurance agent, Maxine Rose Frederick, 27, has pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to a charge of trafficking 17.55kg of marijuana.

Kuching High Court Judge Datuk Zaleha Rose Pandin fixed Jan 4 next year for mention of the case. She also ordered the accused to be remanded at Puncak Borneo Prison while awaiting trial.

The accused from Kampung Cemerlang here was charged under Section 39B (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence or life imprisonment if convicted.

According to the charge sheet, the accused allegedly committed the offence at the international arrival hall of Kuching International Airport (KIA) on April 28 this year where a Customs inspection officer stopped her for inspections.

The suspect was returning from Kuala Lumpur and examinations into her luggage bags, found 18 packages wrapped with gift-wrapping paper and carbon paper containing compressed plant leaves, believed to be marijuana weighing 18.2kg.

On May 3, Sarawak Customs director Herman Shah Abdullah told the media that the suspect was visiting her mother in Kuala Lumpur for a week and she was reportedly asked by her friend to bring luggage to Kuching with a guarantee of a well-paying job in Serian.

A report from the Chemist Department found that the plant leaves confiscated by the Customs Department weighing 17.55kg was marijuana.

Deputy public prosecutor Musli Abdul Hamid prosecuted while the accused was represented by counsels Roger Chin and Osman Ibrahim.

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