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Cannabis smuggling granny, 82, flees to Australia as Romania's oldest fugitive

Elena Mladin's wanted picture
Elena Mladin's wanted picture Copyright Romanian Police
Copyright Romanian Police
By Cristian Gherasim
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Gran-abis! An 82-year-old woman smuggled drugs into a prison for her grandson. She's now the oldest person on Romania's wanted list but police discovered she's gone to Australia.

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Grandmother Elena Mladin has the dubious honour of being the oldest person to be listed on the Romanian Police wanted list after her attempt to smuggle drugs into a prison was thwarted.

In 2014, the octogenarian tried to hide cannabis inside cabbage rolls, according to investigators. The rolls were destined for her nephew who was serving time for driving without a license. The cabbage roll casserole never reached the young man as the package was intercepted by prison guards.

The criminal investigation opened at the time revealed that the elderly woman had more drugs at her home. A police search found close to 2 kilos of cannabis packed in a metal stove located in the kitchen.

During the investigation, Elena Mladin was subpoenaed several times but failed to attend court.

Records of the Mehedinti County Tribunal show that the 82-year-old had already fled the country to Campbelltown, Australia. Police would later find out that the woman has no intention of returning to Romania, citing health issues. 

Mehenditi County Tribunal sentenced Elena Mladin to four years in prison for drug trafficking. Following an appeal the sentence was reduced to two years, arguing that the defendant is in her old age and that she has not been previously convicted of other criminal acts.

It is not clear precisely who made the appeal but the appeal procedure in Romania can be made by multiple parties, not solely the lawyer.

Extradition?

Extradition from Australia to Romania is subject to an 1894 inherited bilateral agreement from previous UK adherence. Moreover, Australia will need to engage in its own legal process if the need for extradition is confirmed.

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