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DH-turned-drug mule jailed 16½ yrs

03 December 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

A former domestic helper who was arrested at the Hong Kong airport in February for  bringing in about 4 kilograms of cocaine, was sentenced to 16 years and six months in jail after she pleaded guilty on Nov 30.

Rizza Mae Argamaso had been in jail since since her arrest on Feb 7 this year for carrying 3.7 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage, hidden inside shoes, folders and handbags.

In sentencing, Judge Esther Toh gave a one-third discount for Argamoso’s guilty plea.

John Wotherspoon, a chaplain of the Correctional Services Department, said the discount also reflected the defendant’s help in his campaign against Nigerian drug lords who have allegedly duped innocent women into carrying drugs for them.

Argamaso, a nursing graduate, had written a letter recounting how she first worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong for one year and two months, got fired, then found a new employer, a Pakistani who let her work illegally in his electronic shop in Tsimshatsui.

Later  she met another Filipina, “RJ”, who later introduced her to the woman’s Nigerian boyfriend who is known in the drug trafficking world as “Network” and based in Chung King Mansion.
The meeting, set up because Argomoso said she needed cash badly after helping out friends who suffered losses in Macau casinos, led to her involvement in the drug trade.

When the Hong Kong-based drug syndicate asked her to run errands for them, she said she’d think about it and went to Thailand for a month, at the drug ring’s expense. That was followed by a trip to Brazil, where she was instructed to pick up a luggage.

The luggage, which she took first to the Philippines then to Hong Kong, spelled the end to all her journeys.

           


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