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Know the laws and rules

Politics aside, this story highlights the importance of knowing the laws of the country that you may plan to visit. What may be legal in your home country may not be so in another.

Laura Plummer jailed for three years for smuggling drugs into Egypt

And people with stars in their eyes coupled with the rose tinted glasses they are wearing will continue to get into trouble.

An hour or so's online research could prevent such things from happening.

A simple mistake anyone could make, that being to collect the best part of 300 tablets of a controlled substance in your home country and take it to a country with extreme drugs laws where that drug known is an abused substance and has a ready market with lots of easy profit.

I can see how such a simple mistake could be common so I'm shocked there aren't queues of tourists caught up in such an accidental and very unfair legal minefield.

https://beta.nhs.uk/medicines/tramadol/

Tramadol is a strong painkiller. It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain, for example after an operation or a serious injury.

It’s also used to treat long-standing pain when weaker painkillers no longer work.

Tramadol is available only on prescription.

Smuggling drugs is an offence punishable by death under Egyptian law, and Tramadol is the most abused drug in Egypt according to Ghada Wali, the Minister for Social Solidarity.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/briton- … rs-prison/

SimCityAT :

Smuggling drugs is an offence punishable by death under Egyptian law, and Tramadol is the most abused drug in Egypt according to Ghada Wali, the Minister for Social Solidarity.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/briton- … rs-prison/

I'm shocked and so unhappy this accident (that could have happened to anyone) was with a drug known to be abused in that country and where I'm guessing the harsh punishments mean the price is very high so profits for those intending to smuggle are likely to be massive.
How unfortunate this innocent lady made such a simple mistake with that drug intended purely to relieve her husband's pain.
How unfortunate this lady's husband appears not to be married to her and disappeared the moment she was arrested, another easy mistake to make.

Fred :

A simple mistake anyone could make, that being to collect the best part of 300 tablets of a controlled substance in your home country and take it to a country with extreme drugs laws where that drug known is an abused substance and has a ready market with lots of easy profit.

I can see how such a simple mistake could be common so I'm shocked there aren't queues of tourists caught up in such an accidental and very unfair legal minefield.

https://beta.nhs.uk/medicines/tramadol/

Tramadol is a strong painkiller. It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain, for example after an operation or a serious injury.

It’s also used to treat long-standing pain when weaker painkillers no longer work.

Tramadol is available only on prescription.

FYI~ Ignorance of the Law, is considered to not be a plausible excuse, in any country. A simple mistake anyone could make? Huh? More akin to being a huge mistake, the typical "Wine & Roses" idiot would make, is more appropriate. :cool:

stumpy :

And people with stars in their eyes coupled with the rose tinted glasses they are wearing will continue to get into trouble.

An hour or so's online research could prevent such things from happening.

Ditto! :top:

ARB360 :

FYI~ Ignorance of the Law, is considered to not be a plausible excuse, in any country. A simple mistake anyone could make? Huh? More akin to being a huge mistake, the typical "Wine & Roses" idiot would make, is more appropriate. :cool:

I'm shocked how such a simple mistake was treated so harshly by the Saudi courts.
I'm equally shocked I failed in an epic manner to get my sarcasm over as strongly as I'd hoped.

One gentleman above suggested an hour researching on the net would have averted the problem, or it might well have caused it.

Fred :
ARB360 :

FYI~ Ignorance of the Law, is considered to not be a plausible excuse, in any country. A simple mistake anyone could make? Huh? More akin to being a huge mistake, the typical "Wine & Roses" idiot would make, is more appropriate. :cool:

I'm shocked how such a simple mistake was treated so harshly by the Saudi courts.
I'm equally shocked I failed in an epic manner to get my sarcasm over as strongly as I'd hoped.

One gentleman above suggested an hour researching on the net would have averted the problem, or it might well have caused it.

Fred. You're perspectives, and considered opinions, are (as usual) the most "spot-on". Thus, I fail to see a communication failure, on your part. :D

This young woman was taking a chance, and she knew it. We've all taken chances in our youthful travels.My girlfriend (now wife) and I were lucky, and Fred and ARB probably were, too. Luck of the draw, really! (Here's a link to a short blog-post of mine on the general topic. It will give some readers a smile of recognition. The link should work, but if it doesn't, just Google "barlow's cayman russian roulette".)
http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2012/ … lette.html

Gordon Barlow :

Fred and ARB probably were, too.

My naughtiest moment as far as intercontinental travels goes, apart from joining the mile high club on a MAS flight to KL, was smuggling cooked pork things back for some Malaysian (Chinese) girls I knew in the UK.

Drugs - I'll leave that rubbish to idiots.

Fred :

My naughtiest moment as far as intercontinental travels goes, apart from joining the mile high club on a MAS flight to KL, was smuggling cooked pork things back for some Malaysian (Chinese) girls I knew in the UK. Drugs - I'll leave that rubbish to idiots.

This Hull woman was naive in the extreme - at best. 290 pills is a boatload! My wife was prescribed this medication, but stopped after three or four days because the side effects were way too fierce for her.

Fred - there are drugs and drugs, though. I've been wondering... Back in the old days, would I have carried some prescription painkillers across a border for a friend? Maybe, maybe not. Possibly. I really can't say for certain, at this remove. Of course my travels occurred in gentler times. Today there is much less tolerance by border officials. Today, I would no more recommend somebody forge Egyptian currency exchange-slips than fly to the moon. But back then, meh...

Gordon Barlow :

Fred - there are drugs and drugs, though. I've been wondering... Back in the old days, would I have carried some prescription painkillers across a border for a friend? .

Not a hope of me doing that one. Apart from that one (OK, maybe three) naughty moment(s) with the pork things for the Chinese girls, I've never smuggled anything. I did once carry a bag for someone from Malaysia to the UK but I gave it a serious searching before I went to the airport and I only took it all all because I'd known the people for some years.

As for 'accidentally' smuggling 300 prescription tabs that would be pretty much impossible to obtain legally in the UK to a country where they're very clearly illegal but there's a very big profit to be made selling them,  I've never done that.

By the way, do you know Hull and it's very well deserved reputation for being a prostitute and drug infested dump?
Still, I'm unsure coming from a town where drug abuse is extremely common so most of the population will be at least aware (If not very familiar) with what prescription drugs can be abused is nothing to do with this and I'm sure the young lady concerned is one of the very few people in that town who are totally ignorant of what these things are.
Besides that, everyone knows Saudi is the drug, booze, party and fun centre of the world ... err, don't they?

Even a Sun reader would know that.

I unknowingly smuggled a weapon and drugs into Singapore, one of the strictest jurisdictions in this respect.
Well, the weapon was a small can of pepper spray, which I wanted my then girlfriend (now wife) to carry when jogging alone at night. I didn't know self-defense sprays, which are freely available elsewhere, are illegal in Singapore and classified as weapons.
And the drug were poppy seeds, a common European baking ingredient containing no psychoactive substances, but due to the botanic similarity to opium poppy is classified as illegal drug in Singapore.
In both cases, I wasn't detected and only learned later that it was illegal. The weapon was eventually handed on to a good friend and the drug ended up in a birthday cake for my daughter, which was devoured by her kindergarten friends.
But I agree that it is much preferable to know your host country's rules, rather than act dumb and depend on sheer luck.

Speaking of accidental smugglings... Quite a few US tourists to this Caribbean island (Grand Cayman) find themselves in court here for bringing a forgotten bullet in their suitcases or backpacks. No gun, just a bullet or two! Go figure. (No jail time, just a $1000 fine.)

Gordon Barlow :

Speaking of accidental smugglings... Quite a few US tourists to this Caribbean island (Grand Cayman) find themselves in court here for bringing a forgotten bullet in their suitcases or backpacks. No gun, just a bullet or two! Go figure. (No jail time, just a $1000 fine.)

:/

ARB360 :
Gordon Barlow :

Speaking of accidental smugglings... Quite a few US tourists to this Caribbean island (Grand Cayman) find themselves in court here for bringing a forgotten bullet in their suitcases or backpacks. No gun, just a bullet or two! Go figure. (No jail time, just a $1000 fine.)

:/

I know!

Can I also bring a forgotten corpse in the trunk of my car???

beppi :

Can I also bring a forgotten corpse in the trunk of my car???

Well, yes and no. There's a 27% import duty on cars, based on Blue Book valuations. Personal effects also attract duty, under most circumstances - as do gifts for other people. Forgotten corpses may attract flies, and flies might attract the attention of our environmental law-enforcement agency. Also, you'd better hope the corpse doesn't have any forgotten bullets in it...

Gordon Barlow :
beppi :

Can I also bring a forgotten corpse in the trunk of my car???

Well, yes and no. There's a 27% import duty on cars, based on Blue Book valuations. Personal effects also attract duty, under most circumstances - as do gifts for other people. Forgotten corpses may attract flies, and flies might attract the attention of our environmental law-enforcement agency. Also, you'd better hope the corpse doesn't have any forgotten bullets in it...

:lol:

You mean the corpse of my mother-in-law would be counted under personal effects???

beppi :

You mean the corpse of my mother-in-law would be counted under personal effects???

Many customs officials would ignore a corpse once you explained it was your mother in law, especially if you offered to take their mother in law next.

Back to the OP, and news has emerged the husband was a demi-husband by contract marriage.
For those unfamiliar, a contract marriage is basically a sex licence so you can stay in hotels without getting arrested but has no force in law anywhere.
There has still been no explanation offered as to how she got hold of this controlled drug in the UK.
I'm sure she obtained 280 very strong, prescription only tablets legally but an explanation would go a long way to clearing her name.
Odd as it seems, I'm having trouble finding legal Tramadol sales because all I get is illegal sites and stories about chemists being broken into. I'll try again later.

Fred :

I'm sure she obtained 280 very strong, prescription only tablets legally but an explanation would go a long way to clearing her name.

Fred, surely you jest, or, are you just having, yet another (subtle) sarcasm moment? :unsure

This woman thought she was doing the right thing without ever asking if it was the right thing to do or even checking or thinking that carrying a bag of tablets / medicine might be illegal in the county of destination despite the never ending warnings notices and general information freely available about carrying prescription drugs and or any other .

She got caught and again our lovely British rose tinted view of the world came crashing down around her because whilst us worldly expats can sit and say how bad and wrong and stupid she was, perhaps she didn't think it was wrong and that different countries have different rules.

Regardless of where she is now I think those in the UK should be more ashamed for letting her try to do it.

I am sure like the 2 drug carrying girls from Scotland who got caught in South America with drugs, she will let off and free to go back to the UK in the next 6 months but just make sure the UK government isn't too keen to bring her home let her stew in Egypt for the time being.

Other than that a lesson to us all if we bother to learn from it.

kRUBEN :
Fred :

I'm sure she obtained 280 very strong, prescription only tablets legally but an explanation would go a long way to clearing her name.

Fred, surely you jest, or, are you just having, yet another (subtle) sarcasm moment? :unsure

subtle???????????????

Fred :
kRUBEN :
Fred :

I'm sure she obtained 280 very strong, prescription only tablets legally but an explanation would go a long way to clearing her name.

Fred, surely you jest, or, are you just having, yet another (subtle) sarcasm moment? :unsure

subtle???????????????

Ok, I got it.  :cheers:

lukereg :

Regardless of where she is now I think those in the UK should be more ashamed for letting her try to do it.

She is unlikely to have got the drugs legally as no doctor in his right mind would have prescribed them and no chemist would let her have them without a script.
That means they were obtained by other means, no idea what but I noticed a lot of crime reports about chemists being broken in to - I'm sure that's unrelated.
The UK government has nothing to do with this as such unless you count the lax way smaller time drug criminals get away with what they do.
That much is a national shame for the UK.

lukereg :

I am sure like the 2 drug carrying girls from Scotland who got caught in South America with drugs, she will let off and free to go back to the UK in the next 6 months

Perhaps I could suggest you look up what they're up to at the moment.

lukereg :

Other than that a lesson to us all if we bother to learn from it.

Sure is, read up on what they did in their own words
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/all-about/peru-drug-girls  ... and how much cash they made from it.

She told the newspaper: "I knew what I was doing. I made a conscious decision to do it and no one forced me."

NEVER believe the rubbish newspaper put out as the truth when they see a nice fat pile of advertisers' cash.
When it suits, they were forced into it but, when that story dies, they knew what they were up to.

KER _ CHING!

Fred :

Back to the OP, and news has emerged the husband was a demi-husband by contract marriage.
For those unfamiliar, a contract marriage is basically a sex licence so you can stay in hotels without getting arrested but has no force in law anywhere.
There has still been no explanation offered as to how she got hold of this controlled drug in the UK.
I'm sure she obtained 280 very strong, prescription only tablets legally but an explanation would go a long way to clearing her name.
Odd as it seems, I'm having trouble finding legal Tramadol sales because all I get is illegal sites and stories about chemists being broken into. I'll try again later.

She got them off a co-worker.

SimCityAT :

She got them off a co-worker.

Needs a link to show that but, if true, it was an illegal purchase, thus suggesting she did this deliberately.
No one buys illegally if you can just pop down to Boots and buy them off the shelf.

Again, if true, where did her co-worker get them?

What specific drugs are illegal to carry in your personal handbag? Is it nacotics or is my blood pressure medication illegal to carry too? Just curious - I am from Texas USA and here it is illegal to just go up to a person and start searching their handbag for stuff. So, I am wondering exactly what is it that is considered illegal medication or drugs.
Clara

MsClara1966 :

What specific drugs are illegal to carry in your personal handbag? Is it nacotics or is my blood pressure medication illegal to carry too? Just curious - I am from Texas USA and here it is illegal to just go up to a person and start searching their handbag for stuff. So, I am wondering exactly what is it that is considered illegal medication or drugs.
Clara

What drugs depends on which country, and the countries you are transiting. Going to one country might well involve a stop off in a country where the drug you're carrying might mean immediate arrest, even if it's legal in the departure and arrival countries.

Immigration in any country can go through your handbag if they feel there's a need and nothing will stop them. They can even rip the linings out if they have reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Always check any and all drugs are legal in the countries you visit before you set off. A few joints in California will hardly attract much attention but the same on Bali can get you six years locked up.
I hate to think what would happen in Saudi but it wouldn't be nice.

Fred :

Always check any and all drugs are legal in the countries you visit before you set off.

Perfect advice, Fred! I must say I've not been as careful as I should have been - nothing like! In my old age I've always carted my blood-pressure and cholesterol tablets - all prescription - around with me wherever I've gone, and never given a thought to the possible danger. My wife has recently gone onto a regime of cannabis oil, as prescribed by her doctor. Sheesh! From now on we will certainly do as you say. Thanks very, very much for the tip!

MsClara1966 :

What specific drugs are illegal to carry in your personal handbag? Is it nacotics or is my blood pressure medication illegal to carry too? Just curious - I am from Texas USA and here it is illegal to just go up to a person and start searching their handbag for stuff. So, I am wondering exactly what is it that is considered illegal medication or drugs.
Clara

Not in the airport at passport/customs control (or port of entry), which is largely what were talking about here.  It's perfectly legal.

MsClara1966 :

Just curious - I am from Texas USA and here it is illegal to just go up to a person and start searching their handbag for stuff. Clara

Really? We presume you're referring to what the cops "cannot" legally do, in the Republic of Texas, eh? :cool: 

After 25-years of combined Austin, DF/W and Houston residency, I guess this "out-to-lunch" reefer-smoking family, totally missed that "fantastic" motion picture documentary. :whistle:

:lol:

ARB360 :
MsClara1966 :

Just curious - I am from Texas USA and here it is illegal to just go up to a person and start searching their handbag for stuff. Clara

Really? We presume you're referring to what the cops "cannot" legally do, in the Republic of Texas, eh? :cool: 

After 25-years of combined Austin, DF/W and Houston residency, I guess this "out-to-lunch" reefer-smoking family, totally missed that "fantastic" motion picture documentary. :whistle:

Fred :
SimCityAT :

She got them off a co-worker.

Needs a link to show that but, if true, it was an illegal purchase, thus suggesting she did this deliberately.
No one buys illegally if you can just pop down to Boots and buy them off the shelf.

Again, if true, where did her co-worker get them?

Fred - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ja … irror_main

She also told them that she did not know her husband Omar Saad's full name and that she did not know his address, the Sun reports.

yep

This lady is either a very cunning liar, in which case she is rightly behind bars, or so unbelievably naive and stupid that it's better for the rest of mankind (and herself) to lock her up and out of harm's way.

beppi :

This lady is either a very cunning liar, in which case she is rightly behind bars, or so unbelievably naive and stupid that it's better for the rest of mankind (and herself) to lock her up and out of harm's way.

Well stated.

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