Colombian beauty queen, 23, is sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling after being caught carrying cocaine inside her laptop
A 23-year-old Colombian model was sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday and ordered to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan (£2,284) after being caught carrying cocaine in Guangzhou, China.
Juliana Lopez, winner of a Colombian beauty pageant, seemed to have the world at her feet, running a trendy boutique and hosting a television show as well as being a well-known professional football player.
She was allegedly on her way to buy items for her shop on July 18, 2015, when she was discovered at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport with the powder inside a plastic bag, hidden inside her laptop.
Chinese media have reported that she was carrying 610 grams of white powder which when tested was 49 percent cocaine.
She was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling and ordered to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan (£2,284) by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court on July 25, according Chinese state-run media.
When Ms Lopez was first arrested, it was thought that she could face a death penalty.
The court verdict stated that she had 'pleaded guilty to a good attitude', said Chinese state media.
Ms Lopez was given the lowest sentence possible.
According to section seven of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, those found trafficking drugs into the country can be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, life in prison or the death penalty.
Upon finishing her sentence, she is required to leave China straight away.
The authority has also confiscated her drug, luggage, laptop, mobile phones and £776 in cash, the report said.
At the time of the incident, Ms Lopez had won the Miss Antioquia beauty pageant and was going to participate in the Miss World Medellin competition.
Her family claimed that she had vanished after she left for China.
She apparently flew into the airport in the city of Guangzhou and it was then that she lost contact with her.
It's been believed that she had been on her way to buy items such as shoes, clothes and other accessories for her shop.
Ms Lopez had been to China before to purchase items for her business.
According to the People's Daily Online, Ms Lopez had confessed that she was asked by a man called Sergio to take the drugs with her to China.
She had reportedly told the court: 'I want to participate in the Miss World competition and needed money so he lent me £2,500 in return for me taking the laptop to China.'
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