Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto has been sentenced to death via hanging after allegeldy trying to move nearly 1.1 kilos of crystal meth across the Malaysian border into Melbourne. She was arrested back in 2014 for her crimes, and faced a mandatory death penalty in relation to Malaysia’s strict drug laws. 

Exposto argued that she was not aware of the drugs in her possession, and had been scammed by a boyfriend she had met online. Her lawyers reveal how she initially travelled to Shanghai in order to file documents related to her boyfriend’s retirement from service with the U.S. Army. When she had left China, Exposto was reportedly handed a black backpack from an unidentified person containing what she believed to be clothes. 

The rucksack was flagged as suspicious by Malaysian customs, who were able to locate the narcotics that were stashed away in a secret compartment. 

Last year, Exposto was found not guilty of drug trafficking by the Malaysian High Court. However, prosecutors appealed the decision, which effectively barred her from returning home to Sydney. 

This ruling comes shortly after Malaysian officials decided that the death penalty was no longer mandatory for drug smugglers. Exposto will be given one last chance to appeal her conviction.