The Ghanaian woman who also has Austrian citizenship pleaded with the court to be allowed to be deported to Austria, rather than Ghana, at the end of her sentence. She said that if she was to be repatriated to Ghana, her safety could be jeopardized due to the high level of interest in the case there.
Presiding Judge Edmonds QC of the Isleworth Crown Court in Middlesex observed that the crime warranted 13 years for the sentence, but that he was considering mitigating factors presented by the defense.
The drugs were supposed to have a street value of 1.8 million pounds, and had a purity level of 79 percent, among the purest seen at the airport.
Court transcripts shed light on the circumstances leading to Ametefe's arrest revealing that Ametefe was given access to the Very Very Important Person (VVIP) lounge at Accra's international airport, which helped her move the contraband out of Ghana undetected.
At least three security and civil service officials, who are said to have been complicit in the high-profile drug smuggling case, are currently on trial by Ghanaian authorities.
The defense claimed that a 50-year-old woman hired his client for US$23,000 and a bonus of £6000 for the transaction of which she was arrested.
Ametefe, who also goes by the aliases Cleopatra, Angel and Ruby is rumored to have connections among Ghana's elite class including President John Mahama and his family. She has three children, aged 11, 13 and 16 years.