When traveling to Malaysia, there are a couple of things you should probably know: First, drug trafficking is punishable by death, just like it is for crimes of murder or treason, and the High Court will not hesitate to string you up by your scrawny American neck if law enforcement catches you with weed. Secondly, if international drug smuggling is your business, it wouldn’t hurt to speak enough Malay to communicate some important legal phrases that may help save you from your untimely demise. Unfortunately, we have no idea what any of those would be.
Apparently, neither did 36-year-old Thailand native, Thitapah Charoenchuea, who was recently sentenced to hang at the gallows after officers from the Royal Malaysia Police caught her at a bus terminal in Sungai Petani, earlier last year, carrying nearly 40-pounds of marijuana.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said on Monday that the prosecution was able to provide him with significant evidence to suggest that Charoenchuea was indeed guilty of violating the Dangerous Drug Act of 1952 by transporting a total of 20 slabs of cannabis in her luggage on February 14, 2012.
Unfortunately, for the accused, the infamous “it’s not mine” defense does not appear to work in the Malaysian judicial system either. “Her defense that she was only taking care of the bags failed to cast doubt on the case presented by the prosecution,” said Mohd Zaki.
However, Charoenchuea, who was working as a salesperson for a Bangkok bridal house at the time of her arrest, maintains that she is the victim of circumstance. She claims that she did not travel from Bangkok with the bags containing the marijuana, but rather, she was accosted by a man named Ali and asked to look after the bags on a bus ride to Kuala Lumpur. It was there that she said the man intended to collect the bags, but he never boarded the bus.
Charoenchuea’s legal counsel pleaded with Judicial Commissioner Mohd Zaki, asking him, before initiating a ruling on the case, to consider that his client was the mother of a 10-year-old daughter and recently divorced.
The defense’s arguments had no bearing on his decision.
Mike Adams writes for Playboy's The Smoking Jacket, BroBible and Hustler Magazine. Follow him: @adamssoup; facebook.com/mikeadams73.