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The Perils of Possession

from Make Travel Fair UK

6 Books To Make You Think Twice

Written by Stephen Chapman   Published on August 16, 2008 

Reading other people’s stories of drug smuggling and drug use can teach us valuable lessons the easy way, preventing us from making the same mistakes as them.

Photo by Stephen Chapman

Foreign Cells / Photo by Stephen Chapman

Britons are notorious for their alcohol fuelled trips abroad. Not content with binge drinking their way through the working week at home, they take their business abroad, patronising local tavernas, bars, clubs and often jail cells in the name of ‘having a good time’.

Alcohol abuse may be a monstrous problem amongst Britons abroad but so too are drugs.  Countless heartbreaking stories tell of young travellers caught smuggling drugs, using drugs, or possessing drugs.  The dangers and consequences involved for anyone partaking in such activities cannot be more heavily emphasised.  These six books all tell harrowing tales of how one bad choice can impact your entire lifetime.

  1. Forget You Had A Daughter by Sandra Gregory – Sandra Gregory agreed to smuggle an addict’s personal supply of heroin out of Thailand.  She didn’t make it onto the plane and was imprisoned in Bangkok’s Lard Yao prison.  She was eventually pardoned by the King of Thailand and released in 2000.
  2. The Damage Done by Warren Fellows – This book frequently appears in second-hand bookshops throughout Thailand. Warren Fellows was convicted of heroin trafficking in Thailand in 1978 and sentenced to life imprisonment, Thai style.
  3. Midnight Express by Billy Hayes – In 1970 Billy Hayes tried to smuggle four pounds of hashish from Istanbul to the U.S..  He was arrested at Istanbul airport and sentenced to thirty years in a Turkish jail.
  4. Mr. Nice by Howard Marks – At the height of his career Howard Marks was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuana.  Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana.  He was released in April 1995.
  5. Grass by Phil Sparrowhawk – Phil became involved in many large-scale cannabis deals in Thailand. He spent four years in two of Thailand’s most notorius jails before being extradited to the U.S., where he spent further time in a series of penitentiaries.
  6. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey – James Frey destroyed his body and mind almost beyond repair through drug use before entering a rehabilitation centre to try and reclaim his life.

The growing popularity of Colombia amongst backpackers will undoubtedly bring us more stories from those who fail to learn by other peoples’ mistakes.  Tourism has the ability to help transform Colombia, but with ‘the rise of the cocaine tourist‘ change may still be a long way off, and tourism may not be the vehicle to lift its cocaine curse.

[ click to read at Make Travel Fair blog ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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