Woman forced to swallow cocaine after going to sign ‘modelling contract’

Judge sentences ‘drug mule’ Jhennifer Garcia De Araujo (19) to six years with five suspended

A woman who said she was forced to ingest 51 pellets of cocaine by a man she believed she was meeting to confirm a modelling contract with, has been jailed for importing the drug.

A woman who said she was forced to ingest 51 pellets of cocaine by a man she believed she was meeting to confirm a modelling contract with, has been jailed for importing the drug.

 

A woman who said she was forced to ingest 51 pellets of cocaine by a man she believed she was meeting to confirm a modelling contract with, has been jailed for importing the drug.

Jhennifer Garcia De Araujo (19), from Paulista in Brazil, came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court.

She admitted importing cocaine with a a street value of €49,203 and two charges of possessing the drug at Dublin Airport on April 15th last.

The mother-of-one has no previous convictions and has been on remand in prison since her release from hospital four days after she arrived in Dublin. She was taken to hospital by gardaí­ after they suspected she had drugs concealed internally and it took four days for the pellets to pass through her system.

Garcia De Araujo later told gardaí­ that she initially thought it would be an interesting proposition to work as a model abroad but she soon realised the man had different intentions.

Gun

She said she became afraid that she could be forced into “international prostitution” and agreed to swallow the drugs when they were placed beside a gun on a table. She told gardaí­ she was not given any money to import the drug and she knew it was “an illegal act to bring drugs into any country”.

Judge Pauline Codd sentenced Garcia De Araujo to six years in prison with the final five years suspended on condition that she leave Ireland immediately on her release. She noted the “great social harm caused by drugs and the impact on addicts and their families”.

“It is very sordid and ultimately only brings pain, grief and financial hardship and usually leads to criminal activity,” the judge said.

Judge Codd accepted that Garcia De Araujo believed she was meeting a man to discuss a modeling contract but “was then confronted by a man with a gun who threatened her to ingest the drugs”. She described Garcia De Araujo as “a scapegoat, a mere drug mule”.

“Her job was clearly to deliver the drugs to Dublin, she was not to receive any payment for her role,” Judge Codd said before she accepted that Garcia De Araujo was not an addict herself and committed the offence as a result of the pressure put on her.