A Filipina house helper who was suspected of sneaking drugs contained inside a small sculpture was acquitted last week by the Ministry of Justice and Narcotics Division of Kuwait after series of laboratory tests and investigations.
Clarita Destajo, a native of Rizal told The Times that she arrived in Kuwait two months back via Afshar Agency, managed and owned by Amer Mohamadi. The agency, which has been in business for the past fifteen years, has kept good record amidst occasional problems common among recruitment agencies deploying domestic helpers to Kuwait. Destajo recalled being told by security police to open her luggage and hand over a statue asked by her agency secretary Kate Castillo to bring to Kuwait as décor for their accommodation. Powdery substance was found at the base of the statue that prompted police to break the statue and found a small plastic containing powdery substance mixed with small pebbles. She was immediately arrested and was in local jail for two days till later was transferred to the central jail prison.
Destajo said, “I did not know what to say but told the police that I had no knowledge of the content inside the statue. I broke down in tears and was speechless; all I could think about were my family and children. I came to Kuwait to work and provide them a better life and I ended up in jail for the crime I never committed”.
Destajo remained in jail for two months until the agency owner Mohamadi hired a renowned human rights lawyer Sheikha Fauziah Al-Sabah who immediately acted on the case and had Destajo released from jail while investigations were still on-going. It was few days after the investigations that a clearance was issued by the Ministry of Justice and Narcotics that Destajo was innocent and that the substance found in plastic pouch contained pebbles and powdery cement used as weights for statues. Castillo said that a similar statue was purchased in same SM Department Store and found similar pouch containing substances.
Castillo said that she knew all along that she was innocent as she was the one who asked Destajo to carry the statue to Kuwait. “It was heartbreaking to see some of my colleagues in the business looked on me as culprit to the crime and somehow has affected our business, which has been operational for the past 15 years. I don’t blame them but at least should have shown support and assistance to resolve the case. Now the truth has surfaced and backed up by documents clearing Destajo and the agency’s names from these suspicions” stated Castillo.
Mohamedi thanked the Ministry of Justice of Kuwait for upholding impartiality and fairness to the case and to Mercedita’s lawyer Sheikha Fauzaih Al-Sabah who acted on the case immediately. Mohamedi also lauded Mercedita for her strength and courage facing the odds while in jail and for believing in the agency’s promise that full assistance will be given to her and her family.
Mohamedi also thanked the embassy. “I owe the agency my life and now I prefer to go home and see my family first and if God permits, I would still like to come back and find job here but through the same agency which gave me the chance to prove my innocence and helped me and my family during these difficult times. I also thank GMA 7 and The Times for airing the news and for their support to clear all issues. I leave it all to God to reward them for all their kindness” ended Destajo. Arrangements are now being made by Afsahr Agency for her return to Philippines to be with her family.