Iqah’s story – The single mum who became an unwitting drug mule

The following article was first published on the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) blog.

Last Thursday, we visited the family and close friends of Noor Atiqah M. Lasim, a 27 year old Singaporean who was recently sentenced to death by Shah Alam’s High Court on 18 March 2011.

This is the story of Noor Atiqah, otherwise known affectionately as Iqah to her family and friends.

The beginning of the end 

It was at a club in Clarke Quay around June 2008 that Iqah had her first contact with Valentine, the Nigerian who eventually led her to the state she is in today. The two started seeing each other in August the same year.

Shortly after, Valentine suggested setting up a fashion business together and they planned to embark on sourcing trips to China. It certainly sounded like a good idea to Iqah, as she was hoping that the business will help to bring about a better life for her family.
Iqah, a single mum with with her daughter
A vacation gone wrong 

In December 2008, Iqah traveled to Kuala Lumpur by bus with a long time friend, with the intention to celebrate New Year’s Day. During her stay there, she received a call from Frank, who she had met in Shenzhen. Frank informed her that samples were ready and made a request for her to collect them.

Iqah refused, as she could not afford to fly to Shenzhen on such a short notice. However Frank was insistent. He promised her USD$500 upon reaching Shenzhen as well as USD$200 for her expenses in Malaysia. Eventually Iqah agreed and Frank arranged for her to meet up with Emeka, a Ghanaian, at McDonalds in Petaling Street.

When they met on 3 Jan 2009, Emeka passed Iqah a blue luggage along with a budget flight ticket to Shenzhen. Puzzled, Iqah inquired the purpose of the luggage. Emeka then informed her that the luggage was for her to store the samples.

On 5 Jan 2009, while going through the immigrations at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur, she was requested to have her luggage through the scanner twice. She then cooperated when asked to open her luggage for inspection, and the rest was history.

342.1 grammes of heroin and 30.3 grammes of monoacethyl were found in a brown enveloped, cleverly concealed in the luggage given to her by Emeka.

“We believe that Iqah is innocent.”

Iqah had spent time in prison since then and hence separated from her daughter. More than 2 years have passed since mother and daughter have met.

Before the final hearing on 18 March this year, her siblings were hopeful that she will be acquitted because they believe that she is innocent.

However, they were met with a shock when Judge Noor Azian Shaari delivered her sentence at Shah Alam High Court.

Among themselves, they have started a campaign for Iqah. The campaign aims to raise funds for a second legal opinion as well as to spread the word about the case. Please visit the blog to find out more about how you can help.

Save Atiqah

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