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Elderly drug mule to be deported

A 73-year-old drug mule who smuggled five kilos, or 12 pounds of cocaine, into the country from Panama, was today sentenced to time-served.

Police arrested Spanish national Esperanza Benet Roig shortly after she arrived at Lynden Pindling International Airport on a Copa Airlines flight on March 7.

The officers found the cocaine, with a wholesale street value of $84,000, stitched in a hidden compartment in her duffle bag.

The senior citizen denied knowing the drugs were in her bag when the officers interviewed her.

She also denied charges of drug possession with intent to supply and drug importation during her initial court appearance.

Ms Roig appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes to change her plea today.

Defence lawyer Jairam Mangra said the offence was out of character for the sickly senior citizen, whom he claimed suffered from multiple ailments.

Ms. Roig walks with a cane and has “neurological issues”, Mr. Mangra said.

He suggested that the court impose no further penalty, given Ms Roig’s age and failing health.

Magistrate Forbes agreed and sentenced Ms Roig to five months’ imprisonment, effective from her remand to prison on March 9.

She’ll be handed over to immigration for deportation.

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