Arrest Date: October 06, 2006
Bruise: Drug Smuggler
Bruise Location: Bermuda
Home Town: Kiribati
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Lines
Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Attorney: Elizabeth Christopher
Details: A cruise ship crew member appeared in court on October 24, 2006, and has been jailed for only five years after trying to smuggle cannabis and heroin valued at more than $311,000 into Bermuda.
Teeteta lereria, of Kiribati, the former Gilbert Islands which are north east of Australia and a British Commonwealth member., apologised to Chief Justice Richard Ground for "trying to poison the children of Bermuda" through her crime. She had two small children at home.
The 26-year-old ship cleaner, who is single and has two daughters aged five and seven, had faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The judge apparently felt sorry for the single mother of two children.
Crown Counsel Cindy Clarke had told Supreme Court that plain-clothed officers from the Narcotics Cruise Ship Enforcement Team were on duty at Kings Wharf, Dockyard, on Friday October 6, 2006
While observing passengers and crew members disembarking the cruise ship Norwegian Spirit - which had arrived in Bermuda that morning - one officer observed Iereria "acting suspiciously," said Ms Clarke.
The team followed her off the docks and into the Calypso clothing store in the Clock Tower Mall, where she was approached and detained for a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
"The female crew member then proceeded to run out of the Clock Tower Mall and the officers gave chase, and apprehended her a short distance away. "She put up a struggle and was eventually subdued by the officers who felt a number of suspicious objects on her body," said Ms Clarke.
After being arrested and taken to Somerset Police Station, Iereria was asked if she had any money on her and replied "no, just drugs".
She admitted to having the drugs around her waist, front and back and said she believed the packages contained "weed".
Officers found eight packages on her person - seven containing cannabis and one containing heroin.
Tests revealed that the heroin weighed just over 60 grams, with a street value $232,220. There was 1577 grams of cannabis, with a street value of $78,850. The court heard that Iereria had given assistance to the Police in their investigations. She pleaded guilty to importation of cannabis and diamorphine.
Iereria said: "I would like to apologise to this court that I'm breaking the rules, especially trying to poison the children of Bermuda, which I strongly believe is not good." She added: "I strongly believe that I will never do this again."