Sunday February 24, 2013
Malaysian pilot jailed for smuggling drugs in Australia
MELBOURNE: A Malaysian pilot who tried to smuggle more than A$1mil (RM3.2mil) worth of methamphetamine through the Sydney Airport has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Thiagu Supramaniam, 32, who was about to be promoted to a Boeing 747 captain, was caught with 4.49kg of methamphetamine meant to be dropped off to another drug courier at the Stamford Hotel in Sydney, the Daily Telegraph reported.
He was caught when Customs officers conducted a random inspection of his aircraft after it arrived from Kuala Lumpur on Jan 10 last year and found six packages of the drug concealed in his luggage.
Thiagu pleaded guilty to smuggling the drugs.
He confessed to investigators that he had imported similar packages into Australia on four previous occasions.
The court was told Thiagu had succumbed to a gambling addiction which led to dealings with a loan shark connected to drug syndicates, which had threatened his family.
He started betting on football matches during the 2008 Euro Cup and had accumulated more than A$15,000 (RM48,000) in debts with high interest, the court heard.
Thiagu had travelled to Australia 47 times on one-night stays over a period of six months in 2011, according to travel records, the court heard.
Judge Ian McClintock in the District Court jailed him for six years with a non-parole period of four years on Friday.
Thiagu will be eligible for parole in January 2016. ó Bernama