Nineteen-year-old Brazilian national, Manuela Vitoria De Araujo Farias, has been handed an 11-year prison sentence after she was found guilty of smuggling a staggering 3.9 kilograms of cocaine into Bali.
The Denpasar Court also ordered her to pay a hefty fine of IDR1 billion (US$70,000) in lieu of an additional two years’ imprisonment.
The court in their ruling last Thursday stated that that Farias’ involvement in the illicit trade was unequivocally established, thereby violating Article 113, Paragraph (2) of Law Number 35 of 2009 concerning Narcotics, as well as Article 61, Paragraph (1), Letter A of Law Number 5 of 1997 concerning Psychotropic Substances.
Presiding over the case, Judge I Gede Putra Astawa, said, “We hereby sentence Manuela Vitoria De Araujo Farias to 11 years imprisonment.”
The gripping narrative of this trial unfolded as investigators delved into the origins of the case. It all began with Farias embarking on a flight from Brazil to Doha, ultimately landing in Bali on that fateful Sunday morning – Jan. 1 – at 3am Bali time.
Customs officials at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport scrutinized the contents of De Araujo Farias’ luggage, leading them to uncover a number of illicit items.
Inside a nondescript, gray Delsey suitcase, they stumbled upon five meticulously wrapped, transparent plastic packages. Each parcel concealed a white powder that proved to be cocaine.
In her defense, Farias claimed that the incriminating packages did not belong to her, but rather to a certain Marlon, her alleged associate back in Brazil. According to her statement, Marlon conveniently left the suitcase by the roadside near her residence, persuading Farias to carry out the perilous task of transporting it to an undisclosed hotel in Bali.
Farias told the authorities that she was promised free surfing lessons in return for delivering the suitcase to someone on the Island of Gods.
While the 11-year prison sentence might be considered heavy, Farias has at least been spared the death penalty, which has been given to convicted smugglers of Class I narcotics like cocaine before.