KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — A Malaysian man caught trafficking 3.79 kilogrammes of methamphetamine into Australia two years ago has been sentenced to a 12-year jail term following a trial.
Mohd Rafiq Mohd Ishak, a 42-year-old taxi driver, was handed the sentence by Judge John Prior on Thursday, according to The Australian.
“This was a one-off criminal activity on your behalf.
“The fact you have limited English skills and your family resides in Malaysia will make the time you are serving a sentence of imprisonment difficult for you,” Prior was quoted as saying.
Mohd Rafiq’s counsel, Curt Hoffman, had reportedly argued that his client was suffering financial problems at the time of the offence and that he was ignorant of the gravity of his crime.
“Unfortunately, (he) got caught up in something way beyond the depth of his understanding,” Hoffman was quoted as saying.
Mohd Rafiq must serve at least eight years of his 12-year sentence before he is eligible to apply for parole. The report stated he would most likely be deported upon release.
In October 2018, Mohd Rafiq was reportedly nabbed upon arrival at Perth Airport, after Australian Border Force personnel conducted a baggage examination on his luggage.
The report noted how preliminary swab tests conducted on the narcotics, which were concealed inside food packing containers, later returned with a presumptive positive result for meth. A subsequent X-ray detected four concealed packages.
Mohd Rafiq was later charged by the Australian Federal Police for importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
A trial by the Western Australian District Court later found him guilty of the offence.
The 3.79kg of meth being trafficked by Mohd Rafiq had an estimated street value of around A$2.8 million (RM8.6 million).