A Guyanese woman was this morning sentenced to ten years in prison after she was found guilty of drug smuggling at the Croydon Crown Court, United Kingdom court, the Sutton Guardian has reported.
According to the report, 29-year-old Martha Nababi, was due to take delivery of 1.1kg of the Class A drug hidden in a parcel at her home in St Helier Avenue but it was intercepted by the UK Border Agency when the parcel arrived at Stansted Airport on March 18 last.
The authorities found the 61 per cent pure cocaine worth £220,000 hidden in two secret compartments underneath rolls of documents.
The newspaper said that prosecutor Jane Osborne, during the trial had told the court that the drugs were removed and replaced with a harmless white powder and the package resealed and delivered to Nababi’s address by an undercover officer.
When no-one was there to receive the package on March 22, the undercover officer left a fake calling card, the jury had heard.
The number on the card was called from two mobile phone numbers, the SIM cards of which were found in Miss Nababi’s bag when police later searched her flat.
The package, sent from Guyana via Memphis in the United States and addressed to Seon King, was redelivered on March 31, when Nababi signed for it, the jury heard.
She told the undercover officer she thought it was for a South African who lived in the flat downstairs, and left it outside his flat, the jury heard.
However, when police visited the flat where she lived with her boyfriend hours later the package was open on her kitchen table with the white powder taken out of the secret compartment, the jury was told.
In her defence Nababi told the jury that she had thought the package was for her neighbour, but had taken it into her own flat when she realised after signing for the package it could have been suspicious and she wanted to see what was inside.
She said she had been intimidated into signing for the package by the undercover officer.
In handing down the sentence Judge Heather Baucher told Nababi, who entered the UK on a student’s visa in 2004 and has overstayed her right to be there, “You have no legitimate status enabling you to work and, as a result, were short of cash.
“I have no doubt you were involved in this venture.”
The judge said she rejected Nababi’s story that police had tampered with a recording, and it was clear she was in it for the money.
Nababi will be automatically deported on her release from prison.