A recent Thailand News Report has stated that a once convicted British drug smuggler had been detained at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. Sandra Gregory hardly filled the characteristic profile of your typical drug smuggler or even that of an actual drug user.
Follow her story here.
Sandra first came to Thailand in 1990 to experience what every other young person wanted and that was to have an adventure like no other. Thailand is one of the best destinations to escape western culture and get truly in touch with a cultural dimension far beyond our own expectations.
Sandra fell in love with Thailand, its culture and its people and decided to stay awhile. She taught English at a university and various schools and businesses as well as to private students. She settled in nicely, made lots of new friends and even found time for romance with a lovely boyfriend.
Things were going great and Sandra was soon living the wonderful life that one can only expect from a such a fabulous place like Thailand. More than two years went by so quickly when suddenly the world came crashing right down around Sandra. She became desperately ill and as her medical bills began to mount, her bank account soon started to dwindle.
What happened next was the worst possible mistake she could ever have made. Her young life was about to be destroyed. In exchange for $2,000 she agreed to carry 89 grammes of heroin to Tokyo for a friend, but before she even boarded the plane she was caught by Bangkok Airport security and ultimately sentenced to death but was later commuted to 25 years.
Sandra spent four and a half years in a Thai prison often describing scenes of horrific brutality and suffering, before being sent back to England to serve out the rest of her sentence. She finally won her freedom in 2000.
At the age of 44, Sandra somehow managed to acquire a valid tourist visa from the Royal Thai Consulate in the United Kingdom before arriving in Bangkok on the 3rd of December 2009. She was to receive a real shock.
Despite the visa, Sandra was arrested by customs officials as she tried to enter the Kingdom. She was refused entry due to her past drugs trafficking incident and subsequent jail sentence. What was she thinking!
The stress and frustration soon took its toll as Sandra who had not eaten or slept for days, sent text messages to her family and friends to try and explain her current ordeal. She will be expecting to be deported anytime.
A Thai friend said that Miss Gregory really loved Thailand and was looking forward to seeing some of the friends she had made while she was in jail. Sandra tried to explain how deeply sorrowful she was of her wrongfulness. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been unable to confirm any details surrounding Sandra Gregory’s most recent arrest.
In 1993 Sandra Gregory had been convicted of attempting to traffic 86.9 grammes of the class-1 drug, heroin out of Thailand. She had concealed the drug inside a condom which she then hid inside her body. After completing a lengthy term in a Thai Prison, she was subsequently transferred to a jail in Kent, Yorkshire.
In summary and in defence of Sandra, I would just like to add that I have read many comments and news reports condemning the behaviour of this wonderful person. She made a grave mistake dammit. There is no doubt in my mind that the actions this young lady participated in at the time were both highly dangerous and illegal. To Sandra, I know that you shall acquire all the wisdom and hope in finding the courage to carry your head high.
I also trust that this will be a great time to reflect just how risky it is when dealing in narcotics anywhere in the world but particularly Thailand. I urge everyone to read Sandra's book. Perhaps you will find hope and heart in it.
Red Shirts are coming to town and spilling blood on the streets. Press releases in various newspapers in Bangkok had suggested that there were possible signs of disturbances as well as warnings of civil unrest around the country.
Foreigners are often told to avoid going to Thailand during these turbulent times, but quite frankly, it all seems more like carnival time in Bangkok. Demonstrators and their supporters throng the streets, painting the town red - if you'll excuse the pun.
Red Shirts are primarily pro-democracy members, mostly from poor rural communities who are demanding early elections and a return to a
fully elected democracy. Although tourists, already in Bangkok, are told
to stay indoors and to shun the city centre. As much as I do, many want to join the
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Khao Sok National Park and wildlife sanctuary forms the largest and most dramatic tract of virgin rain forest in southern Thailand offering you some of the best hiking trails.
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