17 years for Pinay drug mule from Brazil

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A Filipina who pleaded guilty to bringing an estimated $2.323-million worth of cocaine from Brazil to Hong Kong in 2015 was sentenced to 17 years in prison. High Court Justice Kevin Zervos on May 25 said the starting point for S.B. Cumpio’s custodial sentence was 23 years, and added one year owing to the “international element” of the crime as the defendant brought the drugs from Sao Paulo then to Dubai, and then arriving in Hong Kong on July 15, 2015.

While Cumpio pleaded guilty to the charge, which would make her entitled to a one-third discount, Justice Zervos said he was only reducing the defendant’s sentence by 29 percent. This then meant Cumpio was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Justice Zervos made the ruling to reduce the discount given to Cumpio after he rejected her assertion that she tried to lead authorities to the persons who would be meeting her in Hong Kong to receive the drugs she was transporting.

The prosecutor asserted that with the court holding a full-day Newton hearing, the defendant showed a lack of remorse and insight into her case. When Cumpio was intercepted by a Customs officer at the Hong Kong International Airport,

a search on her luggage yielded no drugs, but during a body search, authorities found about two kilos of suspected cocaine wrapped around her thighs and that were hidden in her underwear.

The Filipina told the Court the arresting officer did not pay attention to her when she told her about the person waiting for her to meet her at the airport nor of the telephone  numbers written in a piece of paper that was found among her belongings.

Justice Zervos, however, said Cumpio’s evidence was illogical, and accepted the evidence of the prosecution that the defendant refused to cooperate with the authorities.

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