Malaysian actor jailed for 11 years over Indonesian drug smuggling

Khaireyll Benjamin Ibrahim, alias Benjy, attends his trial at a court in Medan on October 18, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Malaysian actor jailed for 11 years over Indonesian drug smuggling

MEDAN, Indonesia: A Malaysian actor was sentenced to 11 years in prison Wednesday for trying to smuggle crystal methamphetamine hidden in his rectum into the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Khaeryll Benjamin bin Ibrahim was arrested with 4.5 grams of the narcotics in April at Kualanamu International Airport.
In addition to the jail time, the 38-year-old was ordered to pay a fine of $74,000 by the Medan District Court.
However, the prison term was lower than the 14 years recommended by prosecutors and he escaped a possible death penalty.
“We declare the defendant Benjy proven legally and convincingly guilty ... against the law of possessing and controlling narcotics,” head judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo said.
Ibrahim — known to fans as Benjy — is the son of legendary Malaysian actress Azean Irdawaty, according to Malaysian media.
Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-narcotics laws and people caught smuggling more than five grams of some controlled substances can be sentenced to death.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched a tough campaign against narcotics use in 2014, which culminated in the execution by firing squad last year of seven foreign drug convicts — including two Australians.
But the move drew worldwide condemnation, and the government has since shown little sign of preparing for more executions, saying it is focused on fixing the economy.


Celebrities born in the Arab world

Updated 5 min 11 sec ago
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Celebrities born in the Arab world

Arabs love to boast of any famous person who was born and/or raised in our homeland (or have even visited it). To help you out at your next dinner party, here’s a list of A-listers that were born in the MENA region.
Lebanon: Keanu Reeves
The “Matrix” trilogy star was born in Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on September 2, 1964 to an English mother and Asian-American father. He barely lived in Beirut before moving around with his family until his parents’ divorce when he was just three years old, but hey, Neo was one of us for a while.
Oman: Isla Fisher
The “Confessions of a Shopaholic” star was born in Muscat, where her father worked as a banker for the United Nations, in 1976. The family moved to Scotland before heading to Australia, where Fisher spent the majority of her childhood before finding fame on Aussie soap “Home and Away.”
Morocco: Jean Reno
The “Leon: The Professional” actor was born to Spanish parents in Casablanca in 1948 and lived there until the age of 17, when he left to study acting in France. The glum-faced thesp went on to star in several blockbusters, including “Mission Impossible,” “Godzilla,” and “The Pink Panther.”
Yemen: Eddie Izzard
The British comedian, actor and writer was born to English parents in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Izzard rose to fame in the 1990s with his surreal, good-natured stand-up, and has gone on to appear in a number of box-office Hollywood hits, including “Ocean’s 11” and “The Lego Batman Movie.”
Kuwait: Sanjeeda Sheikh
The Indian actress (pictured here with her husband Aamir Ali) was born in Kuwait in 1984. She moved to Mumbai to help a friend open a dance academy before landing the role of Nimmo in TV show “Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa” in 2005. Sheikh recently starred in the romantic drama series “Love Ka Hai Intezaar.”
Saudi Arabia: Melora Walters
The US actress, perhaps best known for her role as Wanda Henrickson in the Emmy-winning, Mormon-baiting TV show “Big Love,” was born in Dhahran in 1960. The well-respected actress is a favorite of acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, appearing in several of his movies.