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Drug Expats Face Execution In Asia

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, October 18, 2004
Singapore cops busted 23 members of the island state's social elite for drugs offences this week, including award winning French chef Francois Fabien Mermilliod, 29 and Nigel Bruce Simmonds, 35, the bureau chief for Tatler and editor of Singapore Tatler.

Reports in local media said Mr Simmonds was caught in possession of 0.8grams of "ice' (methamphetamine aka speed) and faces 10 years in jail if convicted, while his three alleged suppliers face death. Local events promoter Marx Oh Chee Wee, 31, and Tunisian marketing manager Guiga Lyes Ben Laroussi, 35 and his girlfriend were caught with 64 grams of cocaine, 32 ecstasy pills and 23 grams of cannabis between them, after police carried out a two month stakeout, following a tip off. Other alleged drug users include brokers and top Singaporean executives, "including one whom sources said was always driven around in a Rolls-Royce', The Straits Times reported.

Meanwhile in Bali 27 year old Australian beauty school student Schapelle Leigh Corby was languishing in the same jail which previously housed the Bali bombers before their trial, after airport officials discovered 4.2kg of marijuana in her luggage this week.

Ms. Corby faces the death penalty if convicted though her lawyers are reportedly investigating the possibility that the cannabis was planted somewhere between her departure point in Brisbane Airport and Bali, Australian newspaper The Age revealed.

''We are turning over every stone possible to prove that she is innocent,'' said Ms Corby's lawyer Lily Sri Rahayu Lubis. ''Our main concern is to get the girl out as soon as possible. There is no bail for drug-related offences in Indonesia, the only way to get her out is to prove she didn't do it,'' she added.

Expats travelling to Thailand should also be particularly careful to avoid drugs following Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra recent promise to revive his notoriously murderous anti-drug campaign which led to over 2,200 drug suspects being murdered last year.

"Drug traffickers and dealers are heartless and wicked," Mr Shinawatra warned last week, as he promised "brutal measures' against suspects.

"All of them must be sent to meet the guardian of hell, so there will not be any drugs in the country," he said