Monday, October 1, 2007
New Straits Times - 01/10/2007
Raja Munirah Raja Iskandar Shah was allegedly duped by an Iranian man
KUALA LUMPUR: The past nine months have been agonising for Sarimah Karimah.
Sarimah Karimah last saw her daughter in December
The mother of five has been helpless, worrying about her eldest daughter who is languishing in a Tokyo detention centre for drug possession.
She prays every day for her daughter's health and safety.
Raja Munirah Raja Iskandar Shah, 22, is believed to have been duped into being a “mule” for a drug syndicate.
“I know my daughter. She is not the type who would do such things. It breaks my heart to see her pay for a crime she didn't commit,” said Sarimah, who last saw her daughter just before she went to Japan in December.
Raja Munirah is a second-year mass communications student at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Cyberjaya.
During the semester break, Raja Munirah decided to help earn money for her family by working overseas as a promoter. Her good intentions, however, backfired.
According to Sarimah, Raja Munirah befriended an Iranian man known only as "Milad".
“I've met him twice. My family and I were all fooled by his kindness. He deceived my daughter into believing she could earn money in Japan by sponsoring her trip there.
“He even bought a suitcase for her,” she said, adding that Milad and her daughter were friends for only six months before the incident.
Milad is also said to be a student in a local college, but after the incident, he was believed to have fled to Indonesia.
Raja Munirah's trip to Japan was supposed to be for only three days.
On Dec 22, she went to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport with Milad, who had packed her clothes for her in the new suitcase.
According to Raja Munirah's letters to her childhood friend, Aizat Muhamad Jani, Milad locked the suitcase and did not give her the keys. Milad promised to meet her in Tokyo the next day.
When the Customs officer in Japan wanted to check her bag, she tried calling Milad for the keys, but could not reach him.
She was then arrested and in the middle of the year, pleaded guilty to having 690.88g of syabu in her possession. She was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' jail.
Her plea of guilt, however, did not mean she committed the offence.
“She was alone. She did not understand the language and could not explain what had happened. When she was taken to court, a court-appointed lawyer told her to plead guilty as she had no money to hire counsel.
“I went to see her in June and she looked so weak. She was ill and wheezing. She looked like a different person,” said Aizat.
Sarimah said she had lodged a police report after learning that her daughter had been arrested. However, she said police had yet to contact her.
She said her son Raja Daniel, who was very close to his sister, constantly asked about her.
“I don't have the heart to tell him what really happened. All he knows is that his sister is away studying,” she said.
Sarimah's husband, Raja Iskandar Shah, worked in a construction company in Sudan.
They have appointed Malaysian counsel Rosal Azimin Ahmad to fight their daughter's case.
Rosal said Raja Munirah was not properly represented.
“Her appeal is coming up on Oct 4. I am hoping to postpone the matter to obtain documents to help her,” he said.
Rosal left for Japan on Saturday and will be returning on Friday.
Labels: The New Straits Times