In July Graham Heggie, a 27-year-old Scottish holidaymaker, died in the town after a brawl just yards from the apartment in which he was staying. Earlier in the year, Alex Prosser, 73, another British visitor, suffered a fractured skull after being mugged in Benidorm for just £28.
Top Ten Cities for arresting Americans
The top 10 cities where Americans were arrested and the number taken into custody:
1. Tijuana: 520
2. Guadalajara: 416
3. Nuevo Laredo: 359
4. London: 274
5. Mexico City: 208
6. Toronto: 183
7. Nassau, Bahamas: 108
8. Mérida, Mexico: 99
9. Nogales, Mexico: 96
10. Hong Kong: 90
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Sunday, September 30
In Kathmandu in mid-August a five-star hotel was bombed, causing no casualties but sending fresh jitters through the tourist trade.
And in rural areas, the Maoists' collection of money from travellers and the targeting of local people involved in tourism have brought the war one step closer to visitors.
Bangkok Hilton by a Thailand court, which translates in imprisoned for live at Klong Prem prison, nicknamed "The Bangkok Hilton".
The father of the British boy now starting to serve his 99 year "Bangkok Hilton" sentence in Thailand for drug smuggling said today he was "absolutely devastated" by the sentence past on his son.
Michael Connell, 19, was arrested at Bangkok Don Muang airport last November when 3400 class-1 ecstasy tablets were found hidden in 2 body lotion containers in his luggage.
Connell, from Bury, Greater Manchester, escaped the death sentence in Thailand, by admitting yesterday to the Bangkok court, that he was trying to smuggle 2,9 million Baht (US$ 74,500) worth of drugs into Thailand. The sentence passed on him yesterday, was 99 years imprisonment at the "Bangkok Hilton".
the number of british citizens incarcinated abroad has also increased. Many young backpackers pushed into carrying drugs through customs after running out of money, people who have been involved in bar brawls gone wrong on holiday etc.
The difference between us and other nations is that after our citizens have served time abroad they will have to return to serve at least half their original sentance at home which in some cases does not reflect the crime they are being punished for.
For example Micheal Connell 19 year old from Bury arrested in Thailand trying to smuggle 3000 ecstacy tablets. If arrested in Britain would probably serve between 5-7 years. Micheals original sentance - death, changed to 99 years imprisonment as he pleaded guilty. This has recently been reduced to 30 years on appeal. Micheal will most likley serve around 10-12 years in Thailand before returning home to serve possibly another 10-15 years. Is this really fair to imprison a young man for 25-30 years for one mistake which would have resulted in a much lesser sentance in this country? Also bear in mind Micheal will serve his time in Thailand in the notorious Bangkwang (the Bangkok hilton) which is one of the worst prisons in the world.
Other nations such as America and Australia have different prisoner transfer agreements that often see prisoners released within months of being returned to their own countries. Many British prisoners when offered the chance of returning home to to serve out their sentance in britain would prefer to stay in Thailand. Despite being one of the worlds worst jails and the scene of some of the worst human rights abuses, they may stand a better chance of early release. To return to britain may mean another 10-15 years in a maximum security prison but in Thailand they have the possible chance of the kings pardon.
On the other side of this argument is the Paedophiles such as Gary Glitter who commit crimes in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam where punishment isnt as severe. Ok so Gary will serve two or three years in Vietnam but his repeated crimes of grooming and assaulting children would have surley recieved a much longer sentance in this country. Soon though he will be free to return to his old ways without the strict controls you might expect in this country.
So how can we make sure our citizens recieve the treatment they deserve abroad? Does a drug smuggler deserve death or 99 years in jail while a paedophile can get a fairly light sentance? Should we respect the different laws of other countries or should a british citizen be judged by british laws? Do we need to rewrite our prisoner transfer agreements so they are the same as other western countries?
If anyone is interested in supporting people like Micheal Connell or the thousands of other people incarcinated abroad please visit the foreign prisoner support service website. A simple letter or postcard could make someones week. Thankyou as always for reading and i look forward to your views and comments.
Oliver Jufer was arrested last December after drunkenly spray-painting several portraits of the monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
In court, Jufer pleaded guilty to five charges under Thailand's draconian lese majeste law.
He is due to be sentenced later this month, and the maximum penalty he could face is 75 years in jail.
Jufer's lawyer said the
A British man who has spent six years in a Thai prison after being wrongly convicted of manufacturing ecstasy
A British man who has spent six years in a Thai prison after being wrongly convicted of manufacturing ecstasy has been released and could be home within the next week, it emerged yesterday.
Jody Aggett, 30, was arrested along with his pregnant Thai girlfriend, Ramphia Lo, in 2001, and charged with manufacturing and possessing narcotics.
He had met Ms Lo while backpacking and had been intending to bring her back to the UK before she gave birth. But by the time they arrived in Bangkok, she was eight months pregnant and could not travel, so they stayed rent-free in a flat above a travel agency in return for opening and closing the shop each day.
A SYDNEY man was sentenced to death in Vietnam yesterday for trying to smuggle almost a kilogram of heroin to Sydney in his underwear, as two other Australians prepared to face trial in Hanoi tomorrow on unrelated heroin trafficking charges.
The convicted man, 40-year-old Tony Manh, will be supported in his expected appeal for clemency by the Australian Government, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said last night.
"Recently, the fact that many Australians of Vietnamese descent are involved in trafficking heroin from Vietnam to Australia has become a phenomenon," said Phan Tanh of the People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City.
Manh was caught with the drugs on March 3 at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City as he prepared to board a flight to Sydney. He told the court he was paid $US10,000 to transport the drugs out of the country.
Champion jockey Chris Munce will fly into Sydney today as part of a prisoner exchange deal with authorities in Hong Kong.
The 37-year-old was jailed for 30 months for his role in a tips-for-bets scam.
New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says he will be assessed before being resettled in an Australian prison.
"He'll be taken to the metropolitan remand and reception centre, where he'll undergo an assessment and classification, before being placed in a centre to serve his sentence," he said.
Al-wathba prison in Abu Dhabi is notorious for its human rights abuse, stoning to death, lashings, overcrowding. Inmates sleep in cells designed for 8 which held 22 with 3 lice infested blankets on a cement floor. Some Women have been there 16 years and have no one to assist them. One lady has been there 4 years without any help from her embassy. The Indian embassy does not acknowledge that they have several indian nationals in this place. The Sri Lankan and Phillipine Embassies try and visit once a month. This information has been submitted to us from a westerner who was incarcerated in al-wathba and received no assistance from her embassy at all.
There are more than 300 women, babies and children in this place, family names are not used as a rule.
KNOWN PRISONERS IN AL-WATHBA (not complete)
Name Country Sentence Age Building Notes
Lissy Mathew Orathel India 4 years - - -
Fawzeya Shamsuddin Sri Lanka 16 years - - -
Marina Uzbekistan sentenced to 3 yrs - - -
Amira Debaja Philippines 8 months - - -
Nicole Sri Lanka sentenced 2 yrs - - now released
Jinky Fingnit Phillipines 6 months - - now released
Connie Phillipines sentenced 1 year - - -
Yolanda Phillipines sentenced 5 months - - now released
Gina Phillippines sentenced 8 mths - - now released
Romina Phillipines sentenced 6 months and 80 lashes. - - Now released
Natasha Uzbekistan sentenced 6 months and 200 lashes. - - Now released
JC Malaysia sentenced 6 months - - now released
Mei Lan China sentenced 6 months - - now released
Yang China - - now released
Sui may China - - - now released
Rachelle Phillipines 6 months - - now released
Reem Aza Jordan sentenced ? long time - -
There are several prisons in Abu Dhabi and all are notorious for their human rights abuse, stoning to death, lashings, overcrowding. Inmates often sleep in cells designed for 8 which hold up to 22 with 3 lice infested blankets on a cement floor. Many inmates are held for months at a time with no trial or contact with legal or family.
Your first stop as a prison in Abu Dhabi is the C.I.D. HQ in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately no prisoner can contact their loved once, once they are arrested and relatives trying to contact their loved ones in the C.I.D are given no information at all.
Many witnesses are also held in the C.I.D. HQ for a very long time. Long term prisoners are kept in the ground floor. Women and children which includes babies are in a separate block.1.
Our contact warns anyone searching for family members to take special care otherwise they may get arrested as well.
In 1995 a British Citizen was arrested for the importation of Heroin in Thailand and later sentenced to life imprisonment. On August 12th 2004 this British Citizen became the first ever prisoner on a life sentence to transfer on the Thailand – England Prisoner Transfer Treaty. The Lord Chief Justice of England set a provisional tariff and it was then later formally set by the High Court of England to 10 years. 10 years tariff being the same term of imprisonment required by Thailand’s Law for a life sentence prisoner to serve before being eligible for parole(release on licence). When I enquired to the Home Office in England, about my own eligibility date to be considered for parole, (once I have transferred back to England on the Treaty). I was told by Paul Goggins MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) click here that I would only be, automatically released from custody in England once I have served two-thirds of the balance of my sentence remaining at the date of my transfer to England. The balance of my sentence is calculated by deducting the time I have served in prison in Thailand. 4 years being the minimum I have to serve in a Thai prison before being eligible for transfer on the treaty to England. 4 years time served in Thailand deducted from my original sentence of 33 years and 6 months leaves me with a balance of sentence of 29 years 6 months. Of which according to the terms of the treaty and Mr. Paul Goggins, I have to serve two-thirds of 29 years 6 months, which is 19 years 8 months plus the 4 years I will have already served in a prison in Thailand. That equals a total of 23 years 8 months imprisonment. I would only be eligible for consideration for release on parole Licence once I have served one half of my original sentence, that being16 years 9month.
British Citizen was arrested in Thailand on April 21st 2003 for 25 grams of category 1 drug found in the house I was living. You may consider this to be a small quantity of drugs for personal use but in Thailand even a small quantity of drugs for personal use may well be considered as distribution by Thailand’s Law and have severe consequences. Being arrested and sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment in Thailand is a terrifying experience, human rights violations in Thailand’s judicial system as well as cruel and inhuman degrading treatment, horrifying conditions in prisons. Thailand hands out some of the most severe penalties for drug offences in the world. i.e. death penalty, life sentence, 50 year sentence and in my case 33 years 6 month and a fine of £ 11.000. A comparable sentence for my crime in England would probably require me to serve a term of imprisonment of less than 1 year
Police in Thailand have arrested a British man wanted in connection with the killing of his girlfriend, whose body was found in Essex.
Christopher Alan Caunter, 34, was arrested on Wednesday in Petchaburi province, a Thai police spokesman said.
Mr Caunter is wanted for questioning about the death of Deborah Townsend, of East Ham, London, whose scalp and blood were found on the A146 road in Suffolk.
Suffolk Police said they were aware of the reported arrest in Thailand.
A Briton was arrested at Bangkok airport yesterday with 452 fake blank European passports in his luggage, as he prepared to board a plane to return to the UK.
Mahieddine Daikh, an Algerian who became a naturalised Briton two years ago, will probably escape punishment unless there is a formal complaint in the next few days from the government of one of the countries affected, Thai and British authorities told the Guardian yesterday.
Mr Daikh was caught at 1am while in transit from the southern Thai island of Koh Samui to Amsterdam, from where he was scheduled to fly to Glasgow.
Officials found about 200 forged passports from France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal in his hand luggage and 250 fakes from the same countries in his checked-in bags, according to an immigration chief, General Suwat Thamrongsisakul.
So far in 2007 there have been a number of bomb attacks in Algeria. The most significant incidents have been:
On 21 September 2007, a bomb attack in Bouira injured at least nine people, including two French nationals and one Italian national.
On 8 September 2007, a car bomb targeted the naval barracks in Dellys, 70km east of Algiers, killing at least 28 people and injuring over 60.
On 6 September 2007, a bomb attack occurred amongst a crowd gathered outside a mosque in the wilaya of Batna, killing 20 people and injuring around 100.
On 11 July 2007, a bomb attack occurred near a military barracks in Lakhdaria in the wilaya of Bouira killing at least eight soldiers and injuring more than 20.
On 11 April 2007, three bomb attacks occurred in Algiers at two separate locations, killing 33 people and injuring over 100 others. One car bomb exploded near a building housing the offices of the Prime Minister and Interior Minister in the centre of Algiers. Two further bomb attacks took place in the district of Bab Ezzaour, close to a police station. The attacks were claimed by Al Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M), a name adopted by Algerian terrorist group the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in January 2007.
Foreign workers and their means of transport have also been targets for attacks. On 3 March 2007, a bus carrying foreign workers in the Ain Defla district (south of Algiers) was targeted in a bomb attack, killing three Algerians and one Russian and injuring several others. On 10 December 2006, two minibuses carrying expatriate workers were targeted in a bomb and gun attack at Bouchaoui, in the western suburbs of Algiers. One Algerian national and one Lebanese national were killed. Six foreigners, including three British citizens, were injured.
The Sahara Desert and mountainous regions in the south of the country have not normally been subject to terrorist violence, but the abduction of a group of unaccompanied foreign tourists there in early 2003 underlined the potential risk to travellers in the region. We therefore advise caution when travelling to the south eastern wilayas of Tamanrasset and Illizi and recommend that you travel with a reputable tour company or an approved local guide.
You should also exercise caution when travelling in the area close to the border with Mauritania and Mali. Incidents have shown that there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks, banditry and kidnapping in these areas.
If you are planning to travel to Algeria, you should be very careful about your personal security arrangements throughout your visit. We recommend varying unavoidable travel, changing the timings and routes of regular journeys where possible. For more information see Security and General Tips and Risk of Terrorism when Travelling Overseas.
Most visits to Algeria are trouble-free. In certain areas of larger cities there are incidents of robbery (muggings), bag snatching, pick-pocketing and thefts of and from motor vehicles. There have been reports of car-jackings and robberies and thefts by criminals posing as police officers outside the main cities. You should avoid areas that you do not know, especially after dark. Do not carry large amounts of money or valuables around with you.
Police forces across England and Wales took part in the biggest ever international operation against Internet paedophiles on Wednesday morning.
The investigation, dubbed Operation Landmark, has successfully identified 12 suspected paedophiles in the UK. At 06:00 GMT, the National Crime Squad (NCS) coordinated dawn raids on the 12 British targets, and computers and software were seized as evidence.
Nineteen countries were involved in the operation, which resulted in the execution of 130 search warrants throughout the night. The dawn swoops are reported to have discovered 60,000 images of child pornography.
Inspector Terry Jones at Greater Manchester's Obscene Publications Unit was involved in the home raid of one target located in his force's region. "We have been looking at our target for a few months -- we executed a search warrant on his house at 6am, and have recovered a computer, floppies and CDs," he said. "We have definite evidence of child abuse images."
Several hundred thousand pounds worth of what are believed to be counterfeit and illegal drugs were seized, including lifestyle medicines and steroids
As a result of intensive investigations conducted by MHRA investigators, several addresses across the country (both residential and commercial) were today visited. Documentation, computers and banking records were also taken.
The searches were carried out in North London, West Yorkshire and Manchester. Five individuals were arrested: four in London and one in West Yorkshire.
Mick Deats, Head of Enforcement & Intelligence says "today's seizure is a result of a major investigation in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies and the pharmaceutical industry. Individuals or organisations who attempt to supply counterfeit medicines can expect to be thoroughly investigated. Where appropriate they can be prosecuted by the MHRA using a variety of legislation which could result in up to 10 years imprisonment and substantial fines."
The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe. No product is risk-free. Underpinning all our work lie robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits to patients and the public justify the risks. We keep watch over medicines and devices, and take any necessary action to protect the public promptly if there is a problem.
If an individual is convicted of offences under the Medicines Act 1968, they can be sentenced to a maximum of two years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Where appropriate the MHRA will use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to determine whether or not benefits were accrued through criminal activity and will recoup illicit earnings if the individual is found guilty.
UK-based men have been identified as members of an international hacking group known as "THr34t-Krew".
a 19-year-old electrician and an unemployed 21-year-old -- are being interviewed today by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU).
The move follows the execution of search warrants this morning in County Durham. Two addresses were searched and evidence retrieved relating to computer and drugs offences.
The operation was jointly conducted with officers from Durham Constabulary and the US multi-agency CATCH team (Computer and Technology Crime Hi-Tech Response Team), which is based in Southern California.
A simultaneous search warrant was executed at an address in Illinois in the US, where additional evidence in the case was seized.
The two UK-based men have been identified as members of an international hacking group known as "THr34t-Krew".
The NHTCU claims this group is behind a worm which has infected approximately 18,000 computers worldwide. The worm, known as the TK worm, has been found to be present in a number of computers in the UK. The cost of the disruption caused is estimated at £5.5m.
Detective Superintendent, Mick Deats, Deputy Head of the NHTCU, said in a statement: "Hacking and virus writing are serious crimes. They are costing UK firms millions of pounds in lost business and downtime. Our task is to track down those people who seek to hamper companies by reducing their ability to do business. "