A 36 year-old mother of two was given three months to pay a fine of $35,000TT or serve nine years in jail after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Enam Safya Mkubwa of Morvant was arrested at the airport on July 19 with cocaine strapped to her person. The drugs are estimated to be worth around $456,000TT.
According to reports Mkubwa was noticed walking strangely upstairs the airport, close to the last scanner at the checkpoint. She was taken to a room and asked to remove her clothing. At the time of the arrest, she was dressed in Muslim attire. When she undressed, police found two parcels of cocaine in her bra and two parcels of cocaine in her pants close to her abdomen. She was on her way to Barbados.
Mkubwa was arrested and charged for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, attempting to export prohibited goods and packaging in a manner to deceive. She pleaded guilty. On Monday when she appeared in Court to answer charges, her attorney asked the court to be lenient with sentencing, noting that his client had no prior convictions and was only transporting goods as a way to maintain her family. But the court prosecutor said that Mkubwa, who is employed as a Customs Clerk, should be aware of the laws.
The magistrate then gave the sentencing as follows:
-$10,000 or 3 years for attempting to export prohibited items goods
-$10,000 or 3 years for packaging in a manner to deceive and
-$15,000 or 3 years for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.