Drug mule finds no relief on appeal

POSTED: 09/18/14 1:13 AM

St. Maarten – Rimelda Hasselbaink-Vola, a 32-year-old from Suriname seemed resigned to her fate yesterday, when Judge Koen Luijks read to her the sentence of the Common Court of Justice. In March, the 32-year-old mother of three, totally lost it when prosecutor Tineke Kamps demanded 3 years of imprisonment against her for transporting 6.2 kilos of cocaine.

Yesterday the Appeals Court confirmed the sentence the Court in First Instance handed down: 30 months with deduction of the time already served. Customs officers caught the woman at the airport on December 5 of last year with the cocaine hidden in the lining of her suitcase.

Hasselbaink told the court she had agreed to the transport at the request of a neighbor and because she needed money. She lost her job and was faced with an ill husband and three children to care for.

The Appeals Court ruled that, by transporting more than 6 kilos of cocaine from Suriname to St. Maarten, the defendant had played “an indispensable role in the global movement of cocaine transports from a producing country to a consuming country.”

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