• Germany's news in English
 

Drug-smuggling granny 'did it to stay active'

Published: 24 Aug 2012 11:26 GMT+02:00

The Düsseldorf judge who jailed the 76-year-old for two-and-half years on Thursday rejected the image of her as a sick old lady, saying she was robust, and should go to prison.

The woman confessed to having a regular run, collecting cannabis in the Dutch border town of Venlo, near North Rhine-Westphalia, and dropping it with dealers in Düsseldorf and Dortmund.

She delivered around 1,000 kilos over five years in a drug smuggling career which she said started accidentally in 2006. Her car had broken down near Venlo and two men stopped and helped her get up and running - before asking whether she would take some washing powder containers over into Germany.

Initially the men reimbursed her for fuel, but once the drug runs had become regular, they paid her up to €700 per trip.

She said she usually took between two and three kilos of cannabis which had been hidden in boxes and gym bags, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.

“My client was acting under no criminal impetus,” the woman's lawyer told the judge.

Not only had members of the drugs ring put so much pressure on her to carry on making the journeys, meaning she found it almost impossible to break free, but the driving kept her mobile in old age, the lawyer argued.

The judge dismissed this argument, saying the woman was “a really robust pensioner,” who suffered from manageable conditions.

Due to the fact that she was knowingly smuggling drugs, the idea of giving her a suspended sentence to spare her prison would give “completely the wrong signal,” she said.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:13 August 24, 2012 by raandy
Sorry for ya Granny. The problem is when you start making a little easy illicit money it is hard to give it up.

The German Gov. only problem with cannabis is that they are not collecting taxes.
13:04 August 24, 2012 by SeoKungFu
Isn't it related that the current sad state of human affairs goes hand in hand with demonizing a plant?
13:41 August 24, 2012 by raben
In this aspect Germany is still a very underdeveloped, backwards and uninformed country I am afraid.
15:19 August 24, 2012 by Teddy/agnes
you can kills kids in Germany and get away with it,but not drugs, you go to jail because no taxes were payed,if omi pay tax for the drug money no jail time.
15:42 August 24, 2012 by Strictly
@Teddy/agnes

How is killing crime different from a drug crime.Are both crimes? It's only in Europe you can get away with such crime.
16:22 August 24, 2012 by disease
You can get medicinal cannabis oil legally here in Germany (just pay the €10 per month). My husband takes it for his cancer (we're hoping that it will get rid of it as stated by Rick Simpson of pheonix tears). To start with he did get very high, but now he just feels a little groggy at times.
16:32 August 24, 2012 by Wobinidan
Another dangerous criminal off the streets. What a stupid waste of taxpayer's money.
17:40 August 24, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Meanwhile this harmless old lady goes to jail costing needless tax dollars whilst at the same time the German government is buying stolen date from Switzerland encouraging data theft. Germany is becoming more and more a police state with less and less democratic parliamentary power. Glad I didn't take the German citizenship. Don't want to have any obligations to the nanny.
23:46 August 24, 2012 by ulrike clarke
This old dear has shown real entrepreneurial spririt in these tough economic times.....when she comes out of jail, will she accept my offer to train my teenage kids who are currently struggling to find jobs?
00:06 August 25, 2012 by IchBinKönig
She should have just switched to smuggling concentrate. Its so small an amount, I bet they wouldn't have even found it. It won't be long til Europe catches on to 'Dabs'. Its all anybody talks about on the West Coast. Time to do a Dab.
10:54 August 25, 2012 by malcolmkyle
The United States re-legalized certain drug use in 1933. The drug was alcohol, and the 21st amendment re-legalized its production, distribution and sale. Both alcohol consumption and violent crime dropped immediately as a result, and very soon after, the American economy climbed out of that same prohibition engendered abyss into which it had foolishly fallen.
18:37 August 27, 2012 by Siskokid
Could they have put more time into the people she was doing this for. They seem to have been strong arming her to do so. Justice, what justice, they will just find someone else to do take her place. Stupid, very stupid. Oh, but pot is still illegal in Germaina, order nein?
12:26 August 30, 2012 by raandy
The biggesT failure of the past century,"The Drug War", failed, there are more drugs on the street today than 20 years ago.

The only success for the USA is the removal of civil liberties and greater control by the authorities, all in the disguise of a better world.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd