Briton could face 16 years in Indonesian jail for drug smuggling

Briton could face 16 years in Indonesian jail for drug smuggling
Briton could face 16 years in Indonesian jail for drug smuggling

Surabaya (Indonesia) (AFP) - An Indonesian prosecutor on Monday sought a 16-year jail term for a British woman who has admitted trafficking crystal methamphetamine into the country from China.

Andrea Waldeck, aged in her early 40s, was arrested in late April at a hotel in the city of Surabaya with about 1.5 kilograms (three pounds) of the drugs.

Waldeck, who used to work with the British police, could receive the death penalty for trafficking that quantity of drugs into Indonesia under its tough anti-narcotics laws.

But on Monday prosecutor Deddy Agus recommended a 16-year jail term, saying the judge should find Waldeck "convincingly and legitimately guilty of conspiracy to traffic drugs".

Other than the 16 years in jail, Agus also said Waldeck should pay a two-billion-rupiah ($165,000) fine.

Waldeck, dressed in a white shirt, appeared calm after hearing the sentence recommendation but her lawyer said it was too severe since she was not a dealer and the drugs were not hers.

According to her indictment, Waldeck claimed her boyfriend in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou asked her to traffic the drugs in exchange for $5,000.

Despite the recommendation, she could still face the death penalty.

In the case of British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, prosecutors sought 15 years in jail after she was caught trying to bring $2.4 million worth of cocaine into Bali, only for the judge to impose a death sentence.

Sandiford was sentenced to death in January and has lost two appeals against the decision.

Waldeck managed to get past security at Surabaya airport on Java island with the drugs concealed in four plastic packages inside her underwear, according to her indictment.

Two members of a drugs gang had been en route to the hotel to pick up the narcotics. But police knew about the plan and managed to get there first and arrest Waldeck, it said.

She had previously worked in southwestern England as a police community support officer, a part-time member of the force with limited powers.

The next hearing in her case will be on January 6.