4 Sep 2003

Mother of 12 year old girl used as drug courier sentenced to four years in prison

9:43 am on 4 September 2003

The mother of a 12 year old girl who was used as a drug courier to try and smuggle drugs into American Samoa has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Supreme Court Justice Lesatele Rapi told 44 year old Fa Viavia she had given all mothers in Samoa a bad name.

Viavia's attorney Fotu Hogland told the court the defendant was from a poor family and had little education.

She said it was desperation that turned Viavia to drugs, but she conceded that this was no excuse for her client to use her daughter to smuggle drugs into the territory.

The girl was discovered to be carrying packets of marijuana strapped to her body while trying to board a flight to Pago Pago.