You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Deportation for South African drug mule

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/02/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">A South African woman jailed for importing about $1m of heroin will be deported on her release from prison next month.</span> © Getty A South African woman jailed for importing about $1m of heroin will be deported on her release from prison next month. A South African woman jailed for trying to smuggle $1 million worth of heroin through Christchurch Airport will be deported when she is released next month.

Laura Cilliers, 35, has been granted parole two-and-a-half years into a nearly eight-year sentence for smuggling the heroin in 2014.

She swallowed some of the 99 pellets of the drug in Cambodia but they and the ones in her luggage were discovered when she arrived in Christchurch. She needed surgery to have one of them removed.

The Parole Board, following a hearing earlier this month, was impressed with her reports of her time behind bars - she had worked well in the kitchen and horticultural operations and gained a number of qualifications.

"She got a glowing report from the accompanying Corrections officer who attested to her gaining confidence and developing her communications skills," said panel convenor Judge Anne Kiernan.

She admitted she had turned to drugs after the death of her husband when their child was three weeks old. She had married another man as a convenience so he could enter South Africa but she now believed he was in jail in Peru.

Cilliers told the board she would live in a different area in the republic and she hoped to get a job in the mines.

"We are satisfied that if released and deported back to South Africa at this stage in her sentence she would not present an undue risk to that community," Judge Kiernan said.

Cilliers will not be allowed to return to New Zealand before 2022.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon