Wednesday, January 23, 2013

56 Year Old Grandmother Sentenced To Death By Firing Squad For Smuggling Cocaine

An Indonesian court this week sentenced a 56 year old grandmother from the UK to death after she was caught trying to smuggle $2.5M worth of cocaine in her suitcase on to the island of Bali. Prosecutors in the case only were asking for a sentence of 15 years so this was not something that was expected. Despite being a crime that carries the death penalty, Indonesia has not actually executed anyone in almost 5 years. Death sentences in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad.

She was arrested last May and said she had been coerced into carrying the drugs because her kids were being threatened. Appeals in Indonesia take several years to complete. There are currently about 10 tourists on death row who have been caught smuggling drugs into the country.

66 comments:

Amber said...

This kind of crap is what makes me nervous about traveling to more "exotic" places. I've seen Brokedown Palace!

Agent**It said...

Iran had two public executions last week.

RocketQueen said...

Anyone ever seen that show "Locked up Abroad" about people (usually smuggling drugs) having to serve time in other countries? What a nightmare...between that and Midnight Express, there wouldn't be enough money in the world for me to smuggle drugs across international borders.

FrenchGirl said...

Indonesia,Thailand... are very strict about the drug traffic with the tourists

Unknown said...

I think she's full of beans regarding her claim of threats. Greed motivated grannie and her friend. How stupid do you have to be to smuggle and/or do drugs in countries with the death penalty in place for drug crimes? She's already had kids, so no Darwin award for her.

LottaColada said...

Sounds like something out of the show "Locked Up Abroad." That show terrifies me.

Litre-a-cola said...

Amber- Same here! Whenever I see or hear of "exotic" places, I always think of Brokedown Palace!

Sherry said...

So what happened to her chldren? This woman doesn't sound so bright in the first place. Why would you just blindly follow what someone asked?

artemis said...

Drug smuggling has consequences a lot more devastating than one person being imprisoned or executed when caught.

crila16 said...

It's amazing that they're strict about their drug laws, but not about child prostitution.

hunter said...

Don't break laws in foreign countries, you don't know what will happen.

Nope said...

Oh God. My ex made me watch Midnight Express right before we traveled to Turkey. I was terrified!

FrenchGirl said...

when i was younger,i campaigned for a french guy(from an aera) who was in Tailand jail for drug traffic.
He said he was innocent and someone put drug in his bag at his hotel before to go at the airport.Others and i campaigned for him until the police dismantled a heroin drug traffic in France with several members of his family.
He was a heroin dealer ,he's an occasional heroin user and he deserved his 15 years of jail

smash said...

I love locked up abroad. Indonesia has signs everyone in the airport warning that drug smuggling is punishable by Death. Really now. Pounds apon pounds of cocaine. I do feel bad for her but at the same time, it is their country and you need to obey the laws.

KPeony said...

Can we send Lohan there?

Pogue Mahone said...

It's simple really: you do the crime, you do the time. I wish WE had stricter drug laws in this country!

auntliddy said...

Holy shit!! Isnt she old enough to know better?

Agent**It said...

good point, crila .

jennifer hansen said...

@amber i love brokedown palace but i'm with you! i always remember the way they were set up when i think about traveling abroad.

Lisa said...

She had $2.5 mil of cocaine in her suitcase. Surely she knew the risk she was taking. It's insulting that they're trying to soften it up by saying she is a grandma. In my grandmotherly opinion, that makes her crime worse. A mighty fine example for your little ones.

jennifer hansen said...

@amber i love brokedown palace but i'm with you! i always remember the way they were set up when i think about traveling abroad.

jax said...

forget Brokedown Palace, any of you seen Return to Paradise? that's more like the reality.

Maximus said...

I read about this and the Bali 9 case for - literally - hours last night just out of fascination. Frankly, the Schapelle Corby case bothers me the most. This woman and the Bali 9 had drugs strapped on them, so clearly there was guilt involved, although life in prison or the death penality is utterly insane.

Corby allegedly had her unlocked bag show up with 9lbs of weed after being sent through security and no one would re-weigh it to see if the weight was added before or after it left her hands.

If you are cautious, you likely wont' get into trouble. But there are a couple cases that freak me out more than others. Singapore has mandatory executions for possession of ANY drug over 15 GRAMS. If you go to SE Asia and get involved with drugs, you are a fool.

Still sad for these folks, though.

SusanB said...

That thing about threatening her kids is crap. Cops in the UK would have helped her trap these guys if the story were true. I call crap - like Unknown said, it was greed.

Agree with all the above - just don't get involved with drugs when you're out of the US - there's no telling what kind of laws they have, or what kind of punishments.

Tuxedo Cat said...

I don't think there should be a death penalty for anyone, anywhere.

As long as countries such as the US allow the death penalty in certain states, it is going to be difficult to preach to other countries.

Of course, this is terrible. I can't even imagine what this poor woman is going through.

ReesesPeace said...

If (big IF) what she said is true about her kids being threatened, who really knows how one would react? Without reading any further on this...tab open to MV, thanks people!...this makes me sad. People say, "Well, I would never...blah, blah, blah." If you've never been in the situation, how do you know how you'd react? You don't. You think you know, but you don't. I would like to think I'd be smart enough, level headed and go to the police, but honestly? If "my kids" were involved, threatened, I can't say how I would react.

Forgive me, people. I have a raging sinus infection and am loopy as hell.

And, YES, to the person who commented about child prostitution!!

Maximus said...

So, I last night declared," I'd just go to the US embassy and say that these people were threatening my family and attempting to force me to run drugs" and I wouldn't leave until they either got me out of the country or helped set up a sting.

That said - one of the parents of the Bali 9 contacted Australian police to tell them that he suspected his son was being sent to Bali to run drugs. The police said "we'll let him know he is under surveillance". They DIDN'T let him know and then TIPPED OFF the Indonesian authorities, leading to the arrest. This bothers the crap out of me for so many reasons, but the largest one is that Indonesia is not afraid to yield the death penalty or life imprisonment for these crimes whereas in Australia the sentence would be far more lenient.


Bah. BAH!

Maximus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lelaina Pierce said...

@RocketQueen - YES!! I've been sucked into marathons of that show before.

Maria Full of Grace is another scary movie re: drug smuggling (though not set in Thailand). Really heartbreaking.

Cecilia00 said...

Yes, I have seen Return To Paradise - worse than Brokedown Palace IMO

And I am the only one going "So what?!" To her being 56? I mean GASP!!! ***Not a 56 year old*** I mean good grief, is 56 the new 92?

Sarah said...

That's assuming you would be able to get to the embassy. I dare say if you were being threatened you'd be watched closely.

Kloie said...

It's like the second Bridget Jones movie, where she had to go to jail in Thailand until Marc Darcy bailed her out. At least they got to sing Madonna songs there.

plrtz glrb said...

Is she had just gone there to have sex with children they would have given her a job in government. don't go to Indonesia people. regarding shapele corby, they recently busted a drug smuggling ring involving luggage handlers at Sydney airport. Indonesian 'authorities' also destroyed the evidence of the case before it went to trial. just don't ever go there on holiday, because it doesn't matter if you are innocent

Geebz said...

They don't want drugs in their country. They punish to the fullest extent that they see fit.

If you are an entitled drug trafficker/user, don't go to their country. Watch the movies mentioned above and stay home to do your dirt OR get clean.

Borg Queen said...

@ Maximus re: Colby case. The Australian police have just started arresting crooked custom employers but wont go to the Indonesia court to vouch for people who flew through Sidney airport and arrived at their destination with a bag full of drugs.

http://www.drugjail.com/2013/01/operation-marca-new-arrests-in-sydney.html#.UQA2ZvJ_6Ag

Maja With a J said...

Why hasn't anyone mentioned "Bangkok Hilton"? Nicole Kidman's best movie.

stigs84 said...

@Maximus I find the Schapelle Corby case fascinating. Im still on the fence as to whether or not she's innocent

crazy/beautiful said...

Goodness, that is harsh. I do not agree with such strict consequences, even for such audacious actions as bringing in 2.5 mil worth of dope, but they do send a clear message that they do not tolerate dope peddling in their country. No question about that.

Seachica said...

Cecilia -- I also thought it was odd that they characterized her as a 56 year old grandmother. It's not like she is old to be trafficking. And so she is a grandmother -- only thing that tells me is that she had kids young (though not teen mom young)

Patricia said...

The cockroach in the ear scene is why I won't travel to a lot of places. Hell. No.

Amy in MI said...

Don't feel a bit sorry for her. These smugglers know about Indonesia's strict rules. Ask Schapelle Corby

CrazyCatLady said...

I love that show! Mostly because I can't believe how clueless people are. Seriously, has it EVER been a good idea to smuggle drugs out of Thailand? NO!

CrazyCatLady said...

That's a really good movie.

SashaJames2 said...

Was reading the papers today and an insider who knows her well, said she had done a few trips like this there beforehand ferrying drugs and she just happened to just get caught. While I believe a death sentence is very harsh and inhumane, I doubt very much her family was under threat.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

I dont understand how the ppl that she delivered the drugs to got less time!!!! well, one isn't sentenced yet, but his partner only received a yr. and they were selling and living there.

dana oliveira said...

For those who are hiding behind their " oh Indonesia is a country who doesn't care about child molestation" in order not to actually take part of the subject at hand, please are we going to act like no kids are getting raped in the Usa? Which is a rich and developed country right? Anyway, don't visit a place if you don't like their laws...

geminigirl789 said...

Ok y'all-this has been widely reported over here (London). Her kids are men in their 20's, the family is well known in the drug trade, they were the neighbours from hell the last place they lived, before being evicted for nonpayment of rent.
The Times reported that a 'British mother' got the death sentence and was widely censured for that headline, as it was meant to tug the heartstrings, not report the truth. Which is that she was caught with 5 kilos of cocaine sewn into the lining of her suitcase. In a country where we all know they have the death penalty for drug smugglers. No sympathy whatsoever for this piece of human garbage.

Margaux said...

Maybe it's an Australian thing, but everyone here knows - don't touch drugs in Indonesia and definitely don't try and smuggle them through the airport unless you want to die.

There was a massive media hoopla over ten years ago here where a women was busted carrying some weed in her surfboard - she's still in one of their prisons doing a 30 year sentence (I think they've shortened it but only after she had already served a few years) thing is, she appealed it and appealed it and nothing happened - our government at the time did a half ass attempt to bring her back to Australia but Indonesia was fucking stubborn about it. Marijuana < Cocaine.

I agree that a death sentence is extreme and I'm horrified for her family, but it's the traveller's responsibility to know the laws of the country they visit - particularly if they plan on trying to smuggle a controlled substance through a freaking airport.

Margaux said...

And Indonesia is a beautiful country, Put those airport locks on your luggage, get your immunisations beforehand, and don't carry illegal items and you should be fine.

Zeeky_Boogy_Doog said...

Dana Oliveira -

It's not that simple. Tragically, there's going to be cases in every country of children being abused sexually, but the difference is countries like Indonesia make it an obvious industry. People sell their kids into it!

Let's say there's two of me, and we both went on a hunt to find people selling children. We'll both leave at the same time. Zeeky1 will drive all over my city where I live. Zeeky2 will drive to the airport, fly to Indonesia. Zeeky2 will probably find children in the sex trade much faster than Zeeky1, probably within 30 minutes after leaving the airport.

Note: I do agree that it is terrible, no matter how much or little there is. One child is one too many. The people that mess with children, they should be worried about receiving the death penalty, not some dope smuggler.

Maximus said...

@stigs it's a tough one but an eerie story. Locks for me (although I usually just travel with carry ons if I am heading to hot weather).

@Borg Queen - thanks for the link

oftur said...

Death penalty is not right but she should get jail sentence - not a lot of sympathy from me.

But why do some commentators bring up child exploitation? This smuggling took place in Bali - not known for sex tourism. Are you confusing it with Thailand? That said child sex tourists should be hunted down and given long long jail time in nasty prisons IMO!

Also child trafficking nbrs estimates shows: LatinAmerica&Carribean: 550 000 children, Asia&Pacific 250 000 childr, Africa 200 000. Estimates from WikiP(ILO).

MadLyb said...

I just hope she wasn't set up. But if she thought she could make a lot of money selling drugs in an SE Asia, well, damn. That takes balls. Youth and Menopause will make you do crazy things.

I, too, watched "Brokedown Palace", and every time my daughter says she's going to Thailand, I say, "You need to watch Brokendown Palace" before you go, hon. She laughs at me. :(

MadLyb said...

I agree that the death penalty is a biiiit harsh. Then again, I have no problem with the death penalty for rapists and pedos, so I'm a hypocrite.

Popnursing said...

I got the feeling there has to be more to this story. Like, yes, threats were made against her family but no one mentioned it was because the family members had quarantined delivery of the product & already spent the $2.5 mil.... Something like that.

Popnursing said...

*guaranteed.

Jeebus. My public image losses IQ points every time I post a comment from my phone.

ethorne said...

Put me on the Brokedown Palace Scared the Shit Out of Me list.

Diana said...

Preach crila16! It's amazing the severity of punishment for the different crimes.

Unknown said...

I think Brokedown Palace is scary, but I'd be just as scared in a long term us jail. It's all the same- once you take away a person's basic freedoms, life becomes oppressive, rather than beautiful. If people decide to smuggle drugs, grandmother, or teenager, they should be ready to pay the price. That was a lot of cocaine. It was obviously with intent to distribute.

Unknown said...

I think Brokedown Palace is scary, but I'd be just as scared in a long term us jail. It's all the same- once you take away a person's basic freedoms, life becomes oppressive, rather than beautiful. If people decide to smuggle drugs, grandmother, or teenager, they should be ready to pay the price. That was a lot of cocaine. It was obviously with intent to distribute.

The Black Cat said...

Any fool that smuggles drugs deserves what they get, just desserts.

JSierra said...

Unknown have you ever been in a US jail? Life does become less than desirable but it is a hell of a lot better then most people's alternative. Shit I think they have more cable channels on the inside than I do at home.

Beta said...

@Kloie TOTALLY my thoughs!! This is SOOO Bridget Jones!! :D

mell61 said...

I always dislike that media make assumption that one of their citizens being arrested in another country has in some way been set up / or is getting a stricter sentence than if a local had been caught.
you break the law, you pay the price - if they had been caught heading into uK i'm assuming it would be less 'poor granny', and more 'drug dealing granny' because the drugs would be for us in the UK!
Whatever the law is in the land, is just that, the law - if you assume that it should be changed jusst because you aren't local, its pretty much asking for corruption in a legal structure!
just my thoughts!

dana oliveira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dana oliveira said...

@ Zeeky_B

I guess but my point remains= Usa is not perfect either, so why criticizing foreign countries. Plus I bet most of the child rapists who are going to Asia are Westerners.

@ Oftur

Crila brought the subject of Child trafficking and others co-signed not even knowing anything about the culture or the country.

@ Margaux
Thanks for our input, you sound well-traveled and open-minded which is rare around this part.