January 22, 2013

"A death sentence handed down in Bali to a British grandmother found guilty of drug trafficking has been condemned by the UK government."

Can you understand why?

50 comments:

Mel said...

My guess would be this bit:

The charity said she was held for 10 days without access to a lawyer or translator after her arrest and the Indonesian authorities had failed to inform the British embassy during this time.

Or possibly that the prosecution only asked for 15 years & the judges upped the penalty to death.

Dear Bali, I no longer think of you as a safe tourist destination...

trailbee said...

The lady is a mule. She didn't just get picked out of the ckeck-out line at her local grocery store. Let's see what her supporters can do for her. Fifteen years in a Bangkok prison instead of one nanosecond of pain? If the sentence stands, at least she will have enough time to make preparations for her children, if they are not yet self-sufficient.

Lem said...

The lady is a mule.

Look, I dont like Inga as much as the next fellow... but really.

I think the Lady Beard tread drove the point home... We should try to be nice to each other... at least for this year.

Methadras said...

What I don't understand is the circumstances by which she became a mule. The article states she did it under duress due to one of her children being held or threatened if she didn't do it. There is a glaring hole of an understory here that isn't being told.

Coketown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coketown said...

Dear Bali, I no longer think of you as a safe tourist destination...

Agreed. If my 10 pounds of coke isn't welcome in Indonesia, I'll take it elsewhere!

Anyway, would this be news if it were a 20 year old male instead of a grandmother? Does her sex or number of offspring place her above Indonesian law? I notice every news story on Google identifies her as a grandmother or, more cutely, 'grandma.' Are grandmothers above the law?

The L.A. Times reports that in the last 15 years, 22 people--and five foreigners!--were executed on drug charges in Indonesia. Why is everyone lathering themselves with indignation now? If those 22 people had worn Mrs. Claus glasses and baked pies, would there have been an outcry sooner?

Maguro said...

What I don't understand is the circumstances by which she became a mule. The article states she did it under duress due to one of her children being held or threatened if she didn't do it. There is a glaring hole of an understory here that isn't being told.

Either that or her story is bullshit.

Coketown said...

There is a glaring hole of an understory here that isn't being told.

I wondered that, too. We all have a prototypical image of "grandmother" in our heads, and somewhere between that image and this news story--old woman coerced by gangsters into trafficking cocaine between south Asia and England--is a series of events that should be explained. Otherwise we're left with the typical media spin, which is that this very thing could happen to anyone's grandmother. And are those sprouting potatoes in your pantry killing your kids?! Find out at 11:00.

Inga said...

Lem, don't get weird on me now, one weirdo Pantsload is enough. Why bring me into this thread, gratuitous insult, does it make you feel important or something?

Irene said...

1. The UK gives broad definition to the "coercion" defense. The defendant perceived a danger of death or imminent harm.

2. It's about protecting the children.

3. The defendant fell on hard times and couldn't pay her rent. It was a crime of economic necessity.

4. She covered her head with a sarong. She's shy and remorseful.

5. If she lives to tell her story, she can appear on Locked Up Abroad.

6. Bali high.

virgil xenophon said...

@mel/

Did you not ever view the movie "Brokedown Palace" about two girls caught smuggling heroin in Thailand? Almost any third-world country is a sociocultural/legal minefield these days. When I was in USAF pilot tng in Del Rio, Tx in the mid 60s we thought nothing of stumbling drunken thru the streets at night in Cuidad Acuna, hell-hole that it was even then. These days? I wouldn't go ANYWHERE in the third-world--even to 5 star hotels--and I've been almost everywhere on the globe to inclu my fair-share of third-world dive bars. But that was a long, long, time ago in another Galaxy far, far, away...not no more, no way, no how, Unh unh..

MadisonMan said...

Someone has to say it.

Bali High.

Erika said...

I dunno Mel, I managed to spend a week in Bali without getting arrested/without secreting drugs in my suitcase lining.

Follow the laws and it's a remarkably hospitable place.

Balfegor said...

Re: Coketown:

Anyway, would this be news if it were a 20 year old male instead of a grandmother?

Probably. It seems like one of these stories crops up every few years -- some Westerner getting sentenced to death for drug offenses in Southeast Asia. And there is always ineffectual outrage.

This woman seems more sympathetic than most because of the claim that she was somehow pressured into it with threats against her family -- usually it's just a combination of youthful ignorance and Western arrogance. But it's not clear what evidence there is for her story.

Maguro said...

Regular viewers of Locked Up Abroad. will tend to be somewhat skeptical of ths woman's story. She'd better hope the Indonesian judge doesn't get NatGeo on his satellite dish.

virgil xenophon said...

@Erika/

Bali is a fine place--unless you're in the wrong night-club when Muslim terrorists decide to bomb the place. Like pricy 1st class tours of Aswan & the pyramids, those places give the illusion of normality, presenting an all-too thin fascade of safety--a fascade that may be pierced at any moment these days... you pays yer money and you takes yer chances..

Alex said...

Everyone knows Bali & Singapore have the death penalty for drug trafficking, yet idiots like this take their chances. Well I hope she enjoys getting aerated!

Paco Wové said...

The Indonesians don't exactly make a secret of their attitude towards drug trafficking. I have a hard time believing this woman did not know the extreme risks she took.

Erika said...

Virgil, true enough--we don't go to glamorous nightclubby places; we were in a little bungalow in a mountain river valley in Ubud. Pretty sleepy. But yes, you just never know and much of the world has a papered-over underbelly. I won't take my [beautiful blond/redheaded] kids to southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia etc because it's just too easy for them to disappear into that underbelly and leave no trace. Even European cities-I've had widely travelled friends tell stories about insistent strangers on the street following them offering to "watch the baby" for them. It's easy to be a mark without knowing it.

However. Without more backstory information--it seems the British grandma chose to break the law in a place with extremely strict drug laws. She knew the risks. If she was truly acting under duress, why aren't we hearing more about why she did/didn't involve the police.

Paco Wové said...

Oh God, I'm reduced to being a parrot for Alex. Goodbye cruel world!

Lem said...

Can you understand why?

The threat of executing grandma would ensure to generate enough buzz to break through the pre-neanderthal, Kardashian ceiling media... thereby letting it be known, when it comes to drugs, Bali means business... or something.

Either that or play a practical joke on a real life Princess, trick a college football player into a fake online relationship or make a face at an Olympic ceremony that only comes once every four years.

As you can see... the Bali Buzz options are quite limited.

Its a cue we are talking about it... and twistedly?... what may end up ultimately saving the old bag.

(I'm kidding about the old bag)

Chef Mojo said...

It's a grandmother.

The Brits don't have the death penalty.

It rankles them that a grandmother could be set before a firing squad in Indonesia.

The Indonesians see a loser of a white Brit smuggling drugs into their country.

Time to make an example, or extract a favor from London.

Paul said...

Yes the lady was a courier for the drug cartels. To bad but Bali isn't the US or UK.

But you know the BYes the lady was a courier for the drug cartels. To bad but Bali isn't the US or UK.

But you know the Bali laws do have a point. If we had such harsh punishment (and swift) it might stop alot of these mules here.ali laws do have a point. If we had such harsh punishment (and swift) it might stop alot of these mules here.

Lem said...

Why bring me into this thread..

Spice it up a little.

What, no shaming this lady caught red handed carrying drugs?

What if I told you shes a Tory.

bagoh20 said...

Someone could just switch bags on you, or otherwise sneak it into your luggage, and you life is over. Some around here seem to think that only guilty people get convicted in third world countries. With your life on the line, that's a sucker's bet. There are too many other options available to consider a country like this for travel.

"They said Sandiford had damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination..."

Guilty or not, don't blame her for that problem.

Lem said...

Oops I meant coup back there - not cue.

its a coup of letter soup.

bagoh20 said...

Are there really people who would say: "I want to go to Bali, because they execute drug traffickers, and I think that makes for a great place to vacation."?

Balfegor said...

Re:bagoh20:

Someone could just switch bags on you, or otherwise sneak it into your luggage, and you life is over. Some around here seem to think that only guilty people get convicted in third world countries.

Sure, but that's clearly not the case here. Her supporters aren't claiming she was the victim of a bag switch. They're claiming she was pressured into knowingly transporting cocaine.

edutcher said...

Remember the kid who got caned in Singapore?

They do not kid around out there.

The irony - and it is rich - is that they learned such from their colonial masters - the Limeys and the Dutch.

From the days when they did not kid around out there. either.

Lem said...

I remember a big hullabaloo made of a couple, or it might have been just one person, they may have been Brits too, that went skinny dipping at a resort in Dubai.

The got haul off to jail.

Why should I say I feel sorry or whatever for these people?

Balfegor said...

Re: edutcher:

The irony - and it is rich - is that they learned such from their colonial masters - the Limeys and the Dutch.

Up to a point. For the British colonies, drug running was a major industry during the 19th century. The British fought wars against the Chinese Empire over the Chinese Empire's efforts to ban one of the British Empire's chief exports -- heroin. Banning drug running by filthy Europeans has a long and illustrious anti-colonial history.

Balfegor said...

Sorry. Opium. Haha. I don't know why I said heroin.

Revenant said...

Can you understand why?

Is this supposed to be an in-any-way tough question?

edutcher said...

Bal, I know about the Opium Wars.

I meant the fact that, when Her Majesty's forces decided to put the hammer down, they did not favor half measures.

In any case, they're still using that philosophy even if it is to reassert their original position.

Titus said...

I went to Bali with my hubby and didn't like it.

Too much Euro Trash, some can be hot, but they bug me.

Lots of nice tits though.

tits.

edutcher said...

Titus, when The Blonde and I went to Hawaii, we met a woman who ran a jewelry shop on the Big Island who urged us to go to Bali because they love big (meaning built) women there.

Mary Beth said...

She says the drug gang threatened her children, her lawyers say she has mental health problems. Is this supposed to imply that her lawyers think she was not threatened?

She had blocks of coke in the lining of her suitcase. The link is to a news article and video from the time of the arrest.

Mary Beth said...

"Her partner Julian Ponder, a former antiques restorer with whom she lives in a villa on the island, is charged with conspiring to import, smuggle and exchange drugs and being part of a drug syndicate, it has been reported.

Dougall, Ponder and Beales were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking at the end of May along with an Indian man. Dougall and Ponder, both from Brighton, West Sussex have claimed they were "set up" by Sandiford."

This is from an article published last December with the title, "British woman spared death penalty over alleged cocaine smuggling in Bali". Whoops.

Mary Beth said...

Julian Ponder was the partner of another woman who was arrested, not Saniford. I still can't find anything that tells how she got involved with the others. I think it was interesting that they blamed her.

bagoh20 said...

"Sure, but that's clearly not the case here. Her supporters aren't claiming she was the victim of a bag switch."

Sure, but it's not her I'm concerned about if I go there. My point was the ridiculous assertion that sentencing her to death for drugs was somehow better for tourism. This story alone will keep me from going there. Well, that plus "Midnight Express".

Wally Kalbacken said...

Thatz a sssshitload of cocaine, no?

mccullough said...

Obama lived in Indonesia as a kid and is popular there. Perhaps the Brits could importune him to ask his friends in Indonesia to spare this lady, especially for a coke-related crime.

Mel said...

@Coketown & Virgil - I never really thought of Bali as a tourist destination for myself and so was totally unaware of their drug trade issues, though I had heard about the night club bombings. (I'm a Scotland/Wales or Alaska or Scandinavia kind of girl. My family likes warm beaches, but we have those on the Gulf Coast.) I am not saying the grandmother in question shouldn't be punished, but I do find it odd that the judges threw the book at her when the prosecution asked for a lesser sentence. Is that the usual practice in Indonesia? Just wondering...

Rusty said...

Maguro said...
What I don't understand is the circumstances by which she became a mule. The article states she did it under duress due to one of her children being held or threatened if she didn't do it. There is a glaring hole of an understory here that isn't being told.

Either that or her story is bullshit.

I'm leaning in that direction.

She's poor. Hence the drug trafficking.

Her tale of woe smells bad.

AllenS said...

Even president Barry knew that Indonesia was a shit-hole. That's why he left and went to Hawaii so he could do drugs. Choom, choom...

Craig said...

Stayed at the Hyatt when I was there over Christmas a year ago. Half of the guests spoke Russian.

gerry said...

Lem, don't get weird on me now, one weirdo Pantsload is enough. Why bring me into this thread, gratuitous insult, does it make you feel important or something?

HE MADE YOU DO JOIN IN!! NYAH NYAH

Strelnikov said...

I understand why the government would protest but, on the other hand, Westerners are not immune from local laws in the Third World. Commit a crime there and face the punishment. It's easy enough to travel the world without smuggling drugs.

Strelnikov said...

Also, the "grandmother" reference is complete bullshit. I'm old enough to be a grandfather. It makes me neither wise nor immune from the consequences of my actions.

lgv said...

I've been to Bali seven times. Will be there again in March. I have also been to many other areas of Indonesia.

Bali is a wonderful place. It is predominately Hindu, but federal drug laws are consistent with the Muslim teachings. Despite the wonders of Bali, it still has the "underbelly" that exists in most such locales.

Trying to compare British penal systems and punishments with Indonesia will only embolden the courts to stand firm. It appears as Western nations looking down their noses at Asian systems.

It is best not to break laws in such countries. The consequences can be quite bad.