By | May 26, 2018 3 Comments

Truly scary: Australian grandmother, a love fraud victim, sentenced to death for drug smuggling

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto.

Online dating is dangerous. Just ask Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, 54, of Sydney, Australia, who may hang because of a romance scam.

For two years, she communicated an online boyfriend, who claimed to be “Captain Daniel Smith,” a US soldier stationed in Afghanistan. The online boyfriend eventually proposed to her. Maria flew to Shanghai to meet him. He didn’t show up. Instead, she was given two bags to bring back to Melbourne.

At a layover in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, the bags were searched. Drugs were stitched into the linings. Maria had no idea.

Maria was convicted of drug smuggling. She was acquitted in December 2017 — the judge ruled she had been groomed by an impostor. But prosecutors appealed, and the Court of Appeal found her guilty.

In Malaysia, the mandatory sentence for drug smuggling is death.

Sydney grandmother sentenced to death by hanging, on

An Australian grandmother has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Malaysia, on

Previous coverage on Lovefraud:

Australian woman caught with drugs in a love scam may hang

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I trust that the diplomats in Australia are hard at work to release this innocent victim of an evil manipulator.


This shows you must not fall for fraud.


My heart goes out to Maria. Sadly, we all experience poor judgement when under the influence of a sociopath! Even now, with all my counseling, reading and education on the topic, I embarrassingly occasionally let down my guard, allowing sociopaths to cross my boundaries. Fortunately, not as often and not as severely. Hope the Australian ambassador can advocate for her. A good first step for the ambassador and her lawyers would be to learn all they can about sociopaths!

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