Letter: Sentencing and treatment of drug couriers in Britain and abroad

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Sir: I refer to today's leading article 'Drug mules in our own jails', regarding the case of Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith.

I am concerned that the role and honesty of the Thai police in this case is still being questioned. The allegation that corrupt officials had actually planted on the women the drugs found in their luggage was made by a campaigner claiming to represent Karyn Smith. It was made based on 'proof' provided to this campaigner by a government chemist, who in fact had made clear that he was not capable of commenting on this particular case as he had not personally seen the evidence involved.

As your article points out, both the Thai and British authorities are perfectly satisfied with the correctness of the conviction. Patricia Cahill herself said recently that the campaigners were refusing to 'believe the obvious'.

The women were not framed. They received a fair trial, were found guilty, and have served a fraction of the sentences they were given. Fortunately for them, they have been granted a Royal Pardon on humanitarian grounds. Rather than groundless accusations of corruption, a little gratitude towards drug enforcement officials for the work they do would be more becoming to those claiming to represent justice.

Yours sincerely,


First Secretary

The Royal Thai Embassy

London, SW7

22 July