SINGAPORE: DRUG COURIER SPARED DEATH PENALTY FOR HELPING CNB IN PROBE
January 8, 2015: A Thai woman escaped the gallows in Singapore after the High Court sentenced her to life in prison for importing more than 1.8kg of methamphetamine because she had provided ‚Äúsubstantive assistance‚ÄĚ to the authorities in disrupting drug trafficking activities.
Konkla Juntida was arrested at an arrival hall in Changi Airport on Dec 26, 2012, after the Class A controlled drug was found in her possession.
Investigations revealed that the 31-year-old had travelled alone to Brazil in August 2012 and to Lome, the capital of the West African country of Togo, in December that same year.
Konkla was arrested in Singapore during a stopover from West Africa to Bangkok.
The defence did not raise any objections in court.
Konkla appeared calm in court after Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Peng meted out the sentence. She later met representatives from the Thai Embassy who were present at the hearing.
In November 2012, the Misuse of Drugs Act was amended together with the Penal Code to give judges discretion to remove the mandatory death penalty for certain types of homicide and drug trafficking offences.
To receive a certificate of substantive assistance, a drug trafficker must have played only the role of a courier, and either have cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in a substantive way or have a mental disability that substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act. (Sources: channelnewsasia.com, 09/01/2015)