Malaysia’s High Court has sentenced an Indian man to hang for trafficking in more than 12 kilograms of ketamine, news reports said Thursday.

Habeeb Nashtar Abdul Mutalif, 51, was caught upon his arrival from New Delhi at Penang international airport in March 2009, with the drugs stored in stainless steel containers.

Habeeb, who holds a Malaysian permanent resident status, told police officers he was given the containers by a man he met in a mosque in New Delhi, and claimed he was unaware of its contents when he agreed to bring them to Penang.

However, the High Court judge ruled that his defense was unacceptable as Habeeb was working in the capital Kuala Lumpur and had no reason to land in Penang, which is 450 km away, when arriving from India.

Malaysia’s tough drug laws prescribe the mandatory death sentence for those found guilty of trafficking in most types of drugs.

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