The money may be good but it’s not worth the effort,” said Rosna Shariff, a former drug mule who had turned a new leaf. Rosna from Penang was caught smuggling 5kg of cocaine into Peru and received a 5-year prison sentence. She was released on good behaviour after serving half of the full term in a Peruvian jail. The Penangite fell for the promises of a rich picking by a sweet-talking Nigerian whom she met in Kuala Lumpur. Rosna was asked to send a bundle to a contact in Lima, the capital city of Peru. The prospect of an expense-paid holiday in faraway South America and the cash reward awaiting her, bowled her over. Unbeknown to Rosna, the bundle she carried contained cocaine, a banned drug in Peru.
“We must be wary of foreigners, especially Nigerians who come in and out of our country so freely,” she exclaimed. Rosna was addressing an audience of over 300 women at the auditorium of the State Secretariat Building, Ipoh recently. The occasion was an outreach programme for women jointly organised by the Department of Women Affairs Perak and the Perak Women for Women Society. The one-day forum was under the auspices of the office of Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Women Affairs. Hamidah, in her opening remarks, reminded the audience of Rosna’s fate and warned them of the perils that await those who act impetuously.
At the closing of the forum Hamidah presented a mock cheque for RM58,600 to Puan Halida Mohd Ali, Deputy President of Perak Women for Women Society. The money is for conducting similar programmes in major towns and districts in the state.
Most of the participants were appreciative of the efforts by the state government to enlighten them. “Rosna’s confessions are chilling indeed. I didn’t realise that such things could befall us so easily,” said Fatimah Fadzil, 53, to Ipoh Echo. “This programme is most beneficial for women,” she added.