Lawyers for an Australian woman who has been charged with drug trafficking in Malaysia say she's suffering from severe depression and that police have breached her rights by withholding medical treatment. Lawyers also say that Emma Louise L'Aguille was physically assaulted when she was arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine, or ice. The Melbourne nurse faces a mandatory death penalty by hanging if she's convicted. South East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports. ZOE DANIEL: Emma Louise L'Aguille is from Melbourne but was living in Perth and working as a registered nurse, making regular trips to Malaysia as a tourist. On the 17th of July police allege that she was in the driver's seat of a car which they searched and found 1.05 kilograms of methamphetamine - known as ice or crystal meth. Possession of more than 50 grams of the drug attracts an automatic trafficking charge, which means mandatory death by hanging upon conviction. She says she didn't know the drugs were on the floor in the back of the vehicle. Her barrister Muhammad Shafee says she's been suffering from severe depression since her arrest, and her lawyers have had only 10 minutes with her before today. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: We could hardly get much information, especially because of her depression. She kept on breaking down. She was crying more than uttering any words. She is completely depressed. Because she just does not understand how this can happen to her when all she did was to be in the car in the company of some people. She has no clue whatsoever about the drugs. ZOE DANIEL: Mohammed Shafee also says she was physically assaulted after her arrest. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: On the day of the arrest, upon arrival at the police station, she was assaulted in the form of a very hard slap by a gentleman police officer, an Indian gentleman, that's all she could see. ZOE DANIEL: Police allege that Ms L'Aguille was acting with a Nigerian man who was also in the car and has also been charged. Her Nigerian boyfriend and another man apparently left the scene and have not been found by police. Her lawyers say she's asked police to allow her to contact friends in Kuala Lumpur who can vouch for her credibility but she's not been allowed to do so. She's also not been given access to medication or a doctor for a severe chest infection and pre-existing depression. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: She is suffering from severe depression. She is undergoing medication, two sort of drugs she is being prescribed. And none of these drugs are available to her during detention. And in spite of the Australian High Commission officers having been promised by the police on the 19th that they will be taking her to seek medical attention, none of those things happened until today. ZOE DANIEL: The judge ordered that the accused receive medical treatment. The charges will remain tentative until the weight and make-up of the drugs allegedly seized are confirmed through chemical testing. Emma Louise L'Aguille will be moved to Kajang Women's Prison outside Kuala Lumpur until the next hearing on October the 1st. In Bangkok
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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Tuesday, July 31
Wednesday, July 25
BRITISH scientist arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Argentina says he is the victim of a honey trap
BRITISH scientist arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Argentina says he is the victim of a honey trap after being duped into believing he was starting a new life with a stunning Czech glamour model.
Cops in Buenos Aires arrested Professor Paul Frampton after it was alleged that two kilos of cocaine were found in a suitcase he was carrying.
But the Oxford University graduate said he believed the bag was owned by Denise Milani - an underwear model.
Professor Frampton says he believes the mafia tricked him into carrying the drugs by posing as Miss Milani on an online dating site.
There is no suggestion the model had any involvement in the drugs smuggling plot - or knew the mafia was allegedly using her identity.
The 68-year-old professor said he had been exchanging messages with someone he thought was the model - who won the Miss Bikini World title in 2007 - on a dating website.
Professor Frampton agreed to meet his online 'girlfriend' in Bolivia before flying back to the US to start a new life with her.
But when no one turned up after ten days he claims he was persuaded to travel to Argentina to catch up with her there instead.
Despite being stood up a second time, the professor - who was teaching at North Carolina University - says he agreed to carry a case he was told belonged to the model to Brussels.
He was then arrested days later and has languished in jail for six months.
The divorcee, who is described as “naïve” by his ex-wife, said: “Perhaps I should have realised earlier but the fraudster was very good and very intelligent.
“I never thought these sorts of people existed. For 11 weeks I thought I was chatting with an attractive woman.”
The professor, originally from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, claims he was given the suitcase at a hotel in Buenos Aires by a Hispanic-looking middle-aged man who told him it belonged to the 32-year-old model.
He told an Argentine newspaper he planned to take the case to Brussels for a new meeting with his “girlfriend” but changed his mind and was arrested as he tried to board a plane to Peru.
Professor Frampton, who is suffering from lung problems and is being held at Villa Devoto Prison in Buenos Aires, added: “The person I thought was this woman told me she liked older men and was tired of doing photo sessions. I fell for the story.”
Saturday, July 14
Convicted drug dealer Shminder Johal makes his way into the courthouse in New Westminster where he was sentenced to 20 years on Friday.
Former CBSA guard Baljinder Kandola, who allowed bribe-paying drug dealer Shminder Johal’s cocaine filled vehicles get through the border without any scrutiny, got 15 years while kingpin Johal got 18 years. Kandola and Johal – along with a third man, Richmond resident Herman Riar – were arrested Oct. 25, 2007, after police found 11 boxes with 208 bricks of cocaine worth more than $5 million inside a GMC Yukon Denali that passed unchecked through the South Surrey truck border crossing into Canada.
METRO VANCOUVER — An Indo-Canadian cocaine smuggler and his corrupt “Inside Man” at the Canadian Border Services Agency were given lengthy sentences Friday after being found guilty of drug smuggling and other charges.
Former CBSA guard Baljinder Kandola, who allowed bribe-paying drug dealer Shminder Johal’s cocaine filled vehicles get through the border without any scrutiny, got 15 years while kingpin Johal got 18 years.
Kandola and Johal were found guilty June 29 on multiple drug- and bribery-related charges stemming from their arrest in 2007.
Judge Selwyn Romilly asked both Kandola and Johal if they wanted to say anything but they chose to remain silent.
The Crown had asked for 20 years for Kandola and Johal because of an “enormous” amount of cocaine passed through the Pacific Highway border crossing.
But the Judge chose to give a slight break to Kandola and to some extent Johal, who had pleaded with the court for leniency.
Kandola, a Cloverdale resident who worked as a border guard, and Johal, a Richmond resident who claimed to operate a car-parts importing business, were motivated by “profit and greed,” Crown prosecutor James Torrance said.
“This case is about the corruption of a CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) officer and the importation of an enormous amount of cocaine,” Torrance said.
During their sentencing hearing in New Westminster Monday, Torrance told Romilly that while the two men have no previous criminal records, the nature of their “planned and deliberate” conspiracy demands a lengthy prison term, reported the Surrey Leader newspaper.
“The scope and the scale and the sophistication of the conduct… push the sentences to the upper end of the range,” Torrance said.
Kandola and Johal – along with a third man, Richmond resident Herman Riar – were arrested Oct. 25, 2007, after police found 11 boxes with 208 bricks of cocaine worth more than $5 million inside a GMC Yukon Denali that passed unchecked through the South Surrey truck border crossing into Canada.
According to evidence heard at trial, Johal and Riar headed for the border in two vehicles, with Johal in the lead and Riar following, acting as the “transporter” with the drugs in his vehicle.
They timed their trips so Kandola would be the officer on duty, and he waved them through.
Police believe the conspirators made several trips between May 2006 and the day of the arrests.
Evidence indicated Kandola pocketed at least $10,000 for turning a blind eye to the smuggling, including $4,000 worth of work to upgrade his car, a Mini Cooper.
Riar, described as a “minor player” in the scheme, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2010 to 12 years in jail.
A fourth man, Vancouver resident Charles Lai, was arrested in March 2008 in the U.S. as the alleged leader of the smuggling scheme. He was sentenced to 13 years by a U.S. District Court judge in 2009.
During Monday’s hearing, Torrance asked the judge to order the forfeiture of $223,880 Cdn seized from Johal’s home – most of it in bundles of $20 and $100 bills.
Johal’s lawyer Danny Markovitz had argued during sentencing hearing that it would be unfair to impose a term of 20 years.
“It would ruin the lives of his children, his wife, his parents,” Markovitz told Justice Selwyn Romilly at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
The sentencing hearing began with an application by Sutherland Kandola and Johal’s lawyers to have the matter delayed until the fall to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared on the two men by an independent third party.
Torrance objected, arguing the judge has all the information he needs to make a decision.
“We are now approaching the five-year anniversary (of the arrests),” Torrance said. “The matter should not be delayed.”
Romilly not only refused to grant the application, he ordered both men jailed because their lawyers said they were unable to proceed according to a previously agreed-upon schedule of Monday and Tuesday for arguments.
The decision was a surprise that produced audible gasps from family members of both men. Two women burst into tears and one fled the courtroom.
After a five-minute adjournment, defence lawyers said they were ready to proceed and asked the judge to lift his order of incarceration, which Romilly did.
Both Johal, 38, and Kandola will now spend a considerable part of their life behind bars
Friday, July 13
£2million of heroin found at a house in Edinburgh. Kris Brown was found guilty
Some of the heroin stacked neatly in a kitchen cupboard
THREE men caught with the largest haul of drugs ever seized by one of Scotland's police forces have been convicted.
The men were caught with almost £2million worth of heroin at a house in Edinburgh in December 2010, Lothian and Borders Police said.
At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Kris Brown, 22, pictured below, was found guilty of being involved in the supply of the drug. His co-accused, Lee Knott, 23, and Ian Hunter, 22, pled guilty to the same charge on Friday.
They were remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced in Glasgow next month.
A laptop and drugs found at the Edinburgh home
The seizure, which happened at a property in Sighthill View in the Sighthill area of the capital, is the biggest drugs haul ever made by Lothian and Borders Police.
The drugs were seized as part of Operation Congress, an initiative launched in April 2010, which has focused on the activities of serious and organised criminals operating in the Lothians.
The operation has resulted in the arrest of 31 people, a number of whom have been convicted and are currently serving custodial sentences.
Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, head of CID at Lothian and Borders Police, said: "The three men who have been convicted today were caught in the act of preparing large amounts of heroin for distribution on the streets of our local communities.
"However their plans were thwarted as a result of Operation Congress, which has struck a major blow against serious and organised criminals operating in the Lothians.
"Lothian and Borders Police is committed to protecting our communities from serious and organised criminality in all its forms, and we welcome any new information on criminals operating in local communities."
Lothian and Borders chief constable David Strang added: "Today's convictions are the result of a significant operation for the force which represents our biggest-ever drugs seizure and I am pleased the hard work and comprehensive investigation undertaken by my officers has yielded positive results for the communities we serve.
"Drug dealers impact on all of us - whether it be directly through associated criminality, such as housebreakings and thefts, or indirectly through fear and intimidation.
"We are committed to improving the quality of life for people living in the force area and disrupting serious and organised crime groups is just one way in which we can do this.
Wednesday, July 11
Prosecutors have demanded a 15-year sentence for an Australian man caught attempting to smuggle a large quantity of hashish and the party drug ice into Bali in his stomach. Edward Myatt was indicted in May one count of drug trafficking and two counts of possession. The 54-year-old had been facing the possibility of a death sentence in relation to the trafficking charge. However, prosecutors at the Denpasar District Court on Wednesday demanded a sentence of 15 years. Myatt, from Ballarat in Victoria, was arrested in February at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport attempting to import 1.1kg of hashish and four grams of methamphetamines in 72 plastic casings he'd swallowed. While he has admitted to picking up the drugs in Delhi after travelling to India from Yorkshire, England, where he had been living, Myatt has also claimed he made the smuggling run to Bali under pressure from another man, identified only as Roger. Indonesian authorities remain convinced, however, that he was working as a courier for an international drug-smuggling syndicate and suspect he had successfully imported drugs into Bali in the past.
Tuesday, July 10
The appeal court of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday upheld death sentences for five members of a 14-member trans-national drugs ring that trafficked drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam.
Nguyen Xuan Dan, 37; Vo Anh Tuan, 40; Vo Tien Thang, 37; Luu Hoang Thao, 30; and Hoang Phung Bac Son were given the sentences by the city People’s Court at their trial on December 30, 2011 but appealed for a commutation.
However, the Supreme People’s Court on Monday rejected their appeal, saying that their acts were especially dangerous to society, and that thus there was no ground for a remission.
The court also turned down the appeals of three others – Truong Van Hoa, Tran Ngoc Dinh and Lu Huu Loi – who had received life sentences at last year’s trial.
The six remaining defendants, who had been sentenced from seven to 20 years, did not appeal their verdicts.
All 14 traffickers had been detained in 2009 after being caught red-handed smuggling seven kilograms of drugs in HCMC’s District 3.
The criminals, led by Dan, bought the substances in Cambodia at a price of US$6,000 a cake (three cakes make up a kilogram), transported them into HCMC, and distributed them to users for $10,300 a cake, according to the case file.
They were also found smuggling 300 grams of other drug-related addictive substances.
airline employee has appeared in a Sydney court charged with being part of an international drug-smuggling syndicate.
JONATHAN Klein, from Blaxland in Sydney's far west, did not apply for bail during the brief hearing at Central Local Court on Tuesday. The 37-year-old, wearing a dark blue jumper and white shirt, sat in the dock as magistrate Julie Huber formally refused bail and adjourned the case until September 26. Outside the court Klein's lawyer, Bryan Wrench, said his client would fight the two charges of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. "I can't say anything at this stage - the matter is before the court - but they'll be contested," Mr Wrench said. Klein was arrested at Sydney Airport on Monday after federal police allegedly watched him remove a package from an international flight and put it in his car. Officers searched the vehicle a short time later and allegedly found two blocks of a white substance that tests indicated was one kilogram of methamphetamine. They also said they found five kilograms of a white powder believed to be cocaine. Police said they found $1.6 million in cash and a small quantity of tablets and cannabis when they searched Klein's home later in the day. As part of the same investigation, NSW police arrested a 32-year-old man and a 31-year-old man in Sydney on Monday. Both are alleged to have been part of the same syndicate. They were charged with the commercial supply of a prohibited drug and refused bail.
Indian-origin couple, arrested in Australia on drug smuggling charges last year, got respite today from an Adelaide court that released the husband on a 'good behaviour bond' as part of a plea bargain. The Indian American couple was accused of smuggling 200 gm of opium into Australia and their lawyer told the court today that the man, who was an addict, feared the wrath of his wife more than that of the law, while trying to smuggle in the drug. 56-year old Inderjit Singh appeared in the local district court and pleaded guilty to one count of importing a border control drug, local media reported. He was sentenced to nine months in prison but the judge ordered that he be released on a two-year 'good behaviour bond' of 500 dollars. Singh along with his 53-year old wife Jasbinder were arrested in October last year. They were jointly charged with importing or exporting a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug and were facing possible 25-year jail terms. It was alleged that the couple was carrying the drug which was mixed with another substance and was placed inside shampoo and talcum powder tins and packed with chillis. Earlier, prosecutors had told the court the amount of opium in the couple's luggage was 10 times what is considered, under law, to be criminally marketable. However, today they tendered no evidence against Jasbinder and downgraded the charge against Inderjit. In sentencing, Judge Wayne Chivell said he would take Inderjit's assertions into account "with a grain of salt". "You went to elaborate lengths to disguise (the drug)," he said while jailing Inderjit for nine months. The judge also ordered he be immediately released on a two-year, 500 dollar 'good behaviour bond'. "I accept you have suffered greatly as a result of this very foolish behaviour," he said. Immigration Department officers were present in court for the hearing and escorted the couple "for interview". Singh's lawyer Jessica Kurtzer told the court the plea bargain reflected the unique circumstances of the case. She said an Indian hospital had legally prescribed her client opium for irritable bowel syndrome - only for him to become addicted. The couple, she said, came to Adelaide as part of a planned tour of Australia and New Zealand. "Prior to departure, my client's wife confronted him to see if he was bringing his medication (and said) if he was, she would simply not go," Kurtzer said. "He didn't want to argue with his wife about it (and) decided he would bring it to Australia in the tins, not realising the criminality behind it".
Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shot dead the pilot of a suspected drug flight last week
Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shot dead the pilot of a suspected drug flight last week, a DEA spokeswoman has said. It happened on 3 July when a small plane being tracked by Honduran and DEA agents crashed in eastern Honduras. One of the two pilots was shot after "resisting arrest", the spokeswoman said. It is the second fatal shooting by DEA agents who are working with local police to intercept drug flights. DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said on Sunday that the security forces found two pilots at the crash site south of Catacamas. One pilot was injured and taken into custody. The second "ignored orders to surrender and was shot after making a threatening gesture," Ms Dearden said. Honduran police recovered about 900kg of cocaine from the aircraft. In June, a DEA agent shot a suspected drug trafficker in northern Honduras, while an anti-narcotics raid in May involving a team of Honduran and US agents led to the deaths of four people. Local people said those killed were innocent passengers on a river boat at night. Since April, the Honduran and US authorities have stepped up efforts against illegal drug flights. The operation is run with six US state department helicopters and a special team of DEA agents working with Honduran police, a US official in Honduras told the Associated Press news agency. Honduras is a key stopover for traffickers smuggling drugs from South America to the US.
Monday, July 9
POLICE say they have smashed a major drug syndicate which may have trafficked at least $9 million worth of cannabis in southeast Queensland.
Cash and drugs seized by Gold Coast police. Picture: Greg Stolz Source: The Courier-Mail
Cash and drugs seized by Gold Coast police. Picture: Greg Stolz Source: The Courier-Mail
Gold Coast detectives seized a Ferrari, almost $500,000 in cash, guns and 158kgs of cannabis in weekend raids.
They arrested 38 people on 278 charges, including a de facto Elanora couple who were the syndicate's alleged kingpins.
Inspector Tim Trezise, of Gold Coast CIB, said the middle-aged couple were allegedly using a hydroponics shop as a 'cover' for the drug racket.
He said about $400,000 in cash had been seized from the pair, who were charged with about 90 offences between them including drug trafficking.
Insp Trezise said the busts were the culmination of Operation Juliet Stilton, which began on the Sunshine Coast Last year and spread to the Gold Coast.
Police pounced after receiving information large amounts of cannabis were being smuggled from Victoria into southeast Queensland and sold to local dealers.
As much as 45 kilos of the drug was being driven to the Coast every two weeks,Insp Trezise said.
"It is very significant and we're very pleased," he said.
"This is clearly going to disrupt the cannabis trade on the Coast."
Sunday, July 8
All but four of 11 people indicted last November in a cocaine conspiracy case in Quincy have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Howard and Sylvester Purham, the two Chicago brothers alleged to have masterminded the drug conspiracy, were indicted federally in November and face up to life in prison if convicted. Sylvester Purham, 23, and Howard Purham, 20, are now in federal custody. State's Attorney Jon Barnard said the pleas and sentences culminate a long, complex and successful investigation by the West Central Illinois Task Force. The investigation spanned several years, involved ongoing covert surveillance, federal wiretaps and the cooperation of sources close to the operation of the conspiracy. "The cocaine distribution network itself was complex, and involved many tentacles, stretching from the streets of Quincy, to the city of Chicago, to behind the walls of the Department of Corrections," Barnard said. "All of us owe a debt of gratitude to those involved in this long and often dangerous operation in bringing these defendants to justice." Barnard said the Purham brothers have given "proffers," or statements indicating their involvement in the cases. The proffers were referred to during several of the court hearings for defendants in the cases. The Adams County indictments included 47 counts, ranging from street gang criminal conspiracy to multiple deliveries of crack cocaine. "The successful prosecution of these individuals has been a major victory in stemming the flow of illegal narcotics into our communities," Barnard said. "These defendants are merchants of poison. Their inventory does nothing but damage and addict. The sentences sought, and those imposed to date, serve notice to these defendants and those tempted to follow in their footsteps." Chicago resident Tyree Malone, 29, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to manufacturing and distributing cocaine. Authorities say Malone was one of five Chicago residents who were "street dealers" in the drug conspiracy. Jeremiah Simpson, 19, was sentenced to six years in prison for manufacturing and delivering cocaine. Marvin Barnes, 29, pleaded guilty to a drug count and was sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison. Angelo Riggs, 28, pleaded guilty to manufacturing and distributing cocaine and received a four-year prison sentence. One of the Chicago men, Andrew Bunch, 20, had a drug count dropped due to evidence issues. Barnard said Bunch was already in the Illinois Department of Corrections for other offenses when he was indicted. Four Quincy women also were indicted -- Adriane Tuttle, 22, Lasha Johnson, 23, Shiya White, 19, and Jerrica Jones, 23. Tuttle pleaded guilty to manufacture and delivery of cocaine, a Class 1 felony, and was sentenced to five years in prison. Jones pleaded guilty to two drug counts and was sentenced to three years in prison. White was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to two drug counts, and Johnson will be sentenced Aug. 15 after pleading guilty to two cocaine-related counts.
Hong Kong customs officers announced Friday that they have made the city's biggest ever cocaine bust, seizing 649 kilograms (1,430 pounds) of the drug worth 76 million Hong Kong dollars ($98 million). The drugs were in a shipping container that arrived at Hong Kong's port from Ecuador, said John Lee, head of the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau. He said he believed most of the shipment was destined for Southeast Asia or mainland China. The container was one of a batch that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had flagged to Hong Kong officials for further inspection. Customs officers discovered the drugs after they followed the shipment when it was driven Wednesday from the port to a collection point in Hong Kong's rural New Territories, where it was picked up by two men that authorities believe are members of a local drug syndicate. When they inspected the shipment, officers found 541 bricks of cocaine, each weighing about 1.2 kilograms, hidden in a shipment of laurel wood. The driver and the two men were arrested. Lee said Hong Kong's customs department has been working with the DEA and South American law enforcement agencies this year to combat drug trafficking. The seizure tops a haul last year of 560 kilograms of cocaine worth about $77 million found in a suburban warehouse. Five Mexicans and a Colombian were among the eight people arrested in that case. On Tuesday, customs officers arrested a man arriving at the airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil, after they discovered 1.9 kilograms of cocaine hidden in specially made underwear and shoes he was wearing.
father and son were arrested on charges of possession of heroin and cocaine after an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, authorities said. Eight bags of crack cocaine, five single wax folds of heroin and $14,302 were found at the suspect’s residence on Oakwood Drive in Forked River after members of the prosecutor’s Special Operations Group and Lacey Township Police Department executed a search warrant, said Lt. Todd Friedman of the prosecutor’s office. Willie Alexander, Jr., 48, and Willie Alexander III, 24, were charged with possession of less than a half ounce of cocaine and heroin with the intent to distribute the substances, Friedman said. Both were transported to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River on $50,000 bail each, Friedman said.
Wednesday, July 4
Indonesian court has thrown out an anti-drug group's legal challenge against a presidential decision to slash the jail term of Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby. The state administrative court in Jakarta rejected the challenge from the National Movement Against Narcotics (GRANAT) against the Indonesian president's five-year reduction of Corby's 20-year jail term. “The state administrative court has no right to proceed with the legal challenge by GRANAT. Clemency is a presidential prerogative protected by the Indonesian constitution,” Judge Yodi Martono Wahyunadi said. The court last month examined documents submitted by the group arguing that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's act of clemency in May was unjustified and drug traffickers posed a “dangerous threat” to the younger generation. The group's lawyer Henry Yosodiningrat said they would appeal the decision. “Indonesia is in grief today following the court's decision. It reflects the fact that there's no serious commitment to eradicate narcotics from the country,” he told reporters outside the courtroom. Corby, who turns 35 next week, was convicted in 2005 of smuggling 4.1 kilograms of marijuana onto the resort island of Bali. With other regular remissions, the presidential pardon brought Corby's release date forward to September 20, 2017. Indonesia enforces stiff penalties for drug trafficking, including life imprisonment and death.
Monday, July 2
Next time if you get a missed call starting with +92; #90 or #09, don't show the courtesy of calling back because chances are it would lead to your SIM card being cloned. The telecom service providers are now issuing alerts to subscribers —particularly about the series mentioned above as the moment one press the call button after dialing the above number, someone at the other end will get your phone and SIM card cloned. According to reports, more than one lakh subscribers have fallen prey to this new telecom terror attack as the frequency of such calls continues to grow. Intelligence agencies have reportedly confirmed to the service providers particularly in UP West telecom division that such a racket is not only under way but the menace is growing fast. "We are sure there must be some more similar combinations that the miscreants are using to clone the handsets and all the information stored in them," an intelligence officer told TOI. General Manager (GM) BSNL, RV Verma, said the department had already issued alerts to all the broadband subscribers and now alert SMSes were being issued to other subscribers as well. As per Rakshit Tandon, an IT expert who also teaches at the police academy (UP), the crooks can use other combination of numbers as well while making a call. "It is better not to respond to calls received from unusual calling numbers," says Tandon. "At the same time one should avoid storing specifics of their bank account, ATM/ Credit/Debit card numbers and passwords in their phone memory because if one falls a prey to such crooks then the moment your cell phone or sim are cloned, the data will be available to the crooks who can withdraw amount from your bank accounts as well," warns Punit Misra; an IT expert who also owns a consultancy in Lucknow. The menace that threatens to steal the subscriber's information stored in the phone or external memory (sim, memory & data cards) has a very scary side as well. Once cloned, the culprits can well use the cloned copy to make calls to any number they wish to. This exposes the subscribers to the threat of their connection being used for terror calls. Though it will be established during the course of investigations that the cellphone has been cloned and misused elsewhere, it is sure to land the subscriber under quite some pressure till the time the fact about his or her phone being cloned and misused is established, intelligence sources said. "It usually starts with a miss call from a number starting with + 92. The moment the subscriber calls back on the miss call, his or her cell phone is cloned. In case the subscribers takes the call before it is dropped as a miss call then the caller on the other end poses as a call center executive checking the connectivity and call flow of the particular service provider. The caller then asks the subscriber to press # 09 or # 90 call back on his number to establish that the connectivity to the subscriber was seamless," says a victim who reported the matter to the BSNL office at Moradabad last week. "The moment I redialed the caller number, my account balance lost a sum of money. Thereafter, in the three days that followed every time I got my cell phone recharged, the balance would be reduced to single digits within the next few minutes," she told the BSNL officials.
New motoring laws have come into force in France making it compulsory for drivers to carry breathalyser kits in their vehicles. As of July 1, motorists and motorcyclists will face an on-the-spot fine unless they travel with two single-use devices as part of a government drive to reduce the number of drink-drive related deaths. The new regulations, which excludes mopeds, will be fully enforced and include foreigner drivers from November 1 following a four-month grace period. Anyone failing to produce a breathalyser after that date will receive an 11 euro fine. French police have warned they will be carrying out random checks on drivers crossing into France via ferries and through the Channel Tunnel to enforce the new rules. Retailers in the UK have reported a massive rise in breathalyser sales as British drivers travelling across the Channel ensure they do not fall foul of the new legislation. Car accessory retailer Halfords said it is selling one kit every minute of the day and has rushed extra stock into stores to cope with the unprecedented demand. Six out of 10 Britons travelling to France are not aware they have to carry two NF approved breathalysers at all times, according to the company. The French government hopes to save around 500 lives a year by introducing the new laws, which will encourage drivers who suspect they may be over the limit to test themselves with the kits. The French drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - substantially less than the UK limit of 80mg.
Sunday, July 1
The Foreign Office (FO) handled 6,015 arrest cases involving British nationals abroad between April 2011 and March 2012. This was 6% more than in the previous 12 months and included a 2% rise in drug arrests. The figures, which include holidaymakers and Britons resident overseas, showed the highest number of arrests and detentions was in Spain (1,909) followed by the USA (1,305). Spanish arrests rose 9% in 2011/12, while the United States was up 3%. The most arrests of Britons for drugs was in the US (147), followed by Spain (141). The highest percentage of arrests for drugs in 2011/12 was in Peru where there were only 17 arrests in total, although 15 were for drugs. The FO said anecdotal evidence from embassies and consulates overseas suggested many incidents were alcohol-fuelled, particularly in popular holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, mainland Spain, the Balearics (which include Majorca and Ibiza), Malta and Cyprus. Consular Affairs Minister Jeremy Browne said: "It is important that people understand that taking risks abroad can land them on the wrong side of the law. "The punishments can be very severe, with tougher prison conditions than in the UK. While we will work hard to try and ensure the safety of British nationals abroad, we cannot interfere in another country's legal system. "We find that many people are shocked to discover that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office cannot get them out of jail. We always provide consular support to British nationals in difficulty overseas. However, having a British passport does not make you immune to foreign laws and will not get you special treatment in prison."