Italian drug smuggler taught disabled kids

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An Italian special education teacher who imported more than $1 million of cocaine into Melbourne using a hidden compartment in a suitcase may have been targeted as a drug mule because she was such a good person, lawyers say.

Elisa Salatino, 40, was found guilty of importing a commercial quantity of cocaine after customs officers uncovered more than 5kg of the drug concealed in her bag when she arrived at Melbourne Airport on a flight from Rome in February 2017. She faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

Salatino, from the city of Bari in southern Italy, is a primary school teacher who specialises in helping disabled children. She is proficient in sign language and reads braille, her lawyer told the County Court on Monday.

© AAP 2018

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