For the second time in a year, a middle-aged British woman faces the death penalty for smuggling drugs into Indonesia, a Southeast Asian country with some of the world’s most severe anti-drug laws.
Gloucestershire native Andrea Waldeck, 43, is a former police community support officer. She was arrested in a Surabaya, East Java, hotel room in April after Indonesian police followed her from the airport on a tip that she was carrying drugs.
They found her carrying about 52 ounces of methamphetamine, with an estimated value of just under $5,000, in her underwear.
Appearing in court earlier this week, Waldeck admitted bringing the drugs into the country. Indonesian prosecutors say that she is part of an “evil conspiracy” involving Indonesian drug gangs. They asked for Waldeck to die by firing squad.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 25.
Waldeck left the Gloucestershire police force in February of 2012. She claimed that she was coerced into carrying the drugs from China.
An earlier report in the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper said that Waldeck had declared bankruptcy in 2009, claiming debts of £120,000, or just over $190,000.
She has said that her boyfriend, who lives in China, forced her to bring the methamphetamine, known as Shabu Shabu in Indonesia, into the country where they would be sold to a particular individual.
Another British woman, 56-year-old grandmother Lindsay June Sandiford lost an appeal of her death sentence in August. Sandiford was convicted of transporting more than 10 pounds of cocaine — worth over $2 million — into the popular resort island of Bali, which is part of Indonesia.
There are currently 140 death row inmates in Indonesian prisons, many of them sentenced on drug charges. Indonesia has executed five foreigners for drug offenses since 1998.