View Full Version : Planting Drugs in Pax's Luggage!

22nd Apr 2005, 18:07
Last night I watched a film about how two American girls were duped into carrying heroin by a smooth talking drugs trafficker. The theme was even more frightening than that & had echoes of a present case in Bali where a group of Australians have been caught at the airport & a motel trafficking drugs. In the film there were actually about 8 'mules' about to board the aircraft, all recruited by the same unscrupilious drug dealer, but the two girls in question were actually deliberately shopped & sacrificed by the guy who recruited them to divert attention from the six other 'mules' who were no doubt supoosed to be smuggling a far more lucrative & deadly cargo.

It got me thinking & started a conversation in the office today. My boss's sister is just back from a round the world trip, mostly spent in Oz, she's married to an Australian. They were saying that some Australian teenage girl had been caught with drugs at the airport in Thailand I think, ain't sure. Her friends claimed she didn't even smoke & they expected that the drugs were planted. She could face death.

Trying to find the story he was referring to I headed for a search engine & came up with a few stories in the news relating to this issue. I still haven't found the relevant story but I did find this one, perhaps it was it he was referring to.

It relates to a 27 year old ex beauty queen from Queensland Oz, going by the name of Schapelle Corby who was caught at Bali's Denpasar airport with 4.1 kilograms of cannabis & could face life imprisonment. She claims the drugs were planted by a baggage handler at the airport. It is a frightening thought that she may have this fate in store if she is innocent & was duped. Further fingers have been pointed at another suspected guilty culprit since.

Further discussion in the office revealed that my bosses Aussie brother in law said that drug smugglers tend to go for jobs with access to pax's luggage on the carousel, where they plant drugs before the drugs checks & reclaim them on the other side of the carousel.


Beautiful as I have no doubt the Far East (let's concentrate on it at the mo) is it is a frightening thought that any of us could fall prey to drugs been planted on us be it in any country or at its exit points, rare I have no doubt but for those caught up in this turmoil, a non ending nightmare due to these countries hardline, black & white attitudes & the dire conditions of many of their jails.

And if Miss Corby is guilty, marijuana, now come on. IMHO there's a world of difference between this soft drug & the really hard core drugs that cause so much misery. A slap on the hand, a fine, even a few months in prison to teach her a lesson but a life sentence. IMHO the proposed punishment vastly outweighs the crime if any were committed in the first place. The judge claimed she was bringing disgrace on Bali, perhaps Bali is bringing disgrace on itself.

I'd keep my bags firmly locked when checking in (& in these countries if the're out of your sight) if I were you, & check them thoroughly before heading to the airport or any exit point in any of these countries. You don't know who might be rummaging through your luggage. If customs need break the locks, let them. A moment's vulnerability could ruin your life, unlikely I know but it could happen to you. :\

A picture of the lady:


More food for thought:


To view click on 'Word doc' at end of page

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Apr 2005, 18:13
You can't keep 'em locked.

22nd Apr 2005, 18:14
I beg your pardon? :confused:

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Apr 2005, 18:37
You can't check locked luggage. It has to be unlocked before they'll accept it.

Compass Call
22nd Apr 2005, 18:46
You can at Bournemouth & Heathrow!


22nd Apr 2005, 18:47
Stuff em. I did that once, I ain't doing it again. :\

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Apr 2005, 18:55
TSA regs (http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1052.xml)
"Please refrain from locking your checked baggage or use a TSA 'Accepted and Recognized' lock."

22nd Apr 2005, 18:58
You can't check locked luggage. It has to be unlocked before they'll accept it. I wonder how much the drug barons had to spend to get that into procedures. Oh, you mean they didn't have to? The lesser of two evils? Drugs don't bring planes down, bombs do... :ugh: Anyway, that way both the drugs traffickers get their product through and customs come out looking good, demonstrating that the job's getting done?! :}

So next time, just take along hand-baggage. Especially if you're flying to SE Asia. Thongs are cheap out there... :ok:

22nd Apr 2005, 19:01
The TSA are American, I thought we were mainly talking about the Far East here besides as I said before they can get stuffed. I am not leaving my bags unlocked again if not asked & if asked I'm not leaving them unlocked unless the TSA promise to reseal them whether they are inspected or not. The TSA & I have already have had correspondence on this issue!!!:mad:

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Apr 2005, 19:12
The TSA are American, I thought we were mainly talking about the Far East SFO -> BKK

22nd Apr 2005, 20:16
Nine Australians have been arrested for reportedly trafficking heroin on the Indonesian island of Bali.


At this rate, I'd not be surprised if President Yudhoyono banned all ozzers from entering the country. :{

22nd Apr 2005, 20:52
i got a lovely little card from the TSA inside my bag stating that they had had a peak inside. it was packed full with the Jeppesen Flight Discovery for PPL, ME and Instrument and it weighed a ton!

the card is worded like you were five!


Howard Hughes
22nd Apr 2005, 22:58
I think you are all missing the point slightly, it is claimed that the drugs were planted on a domestic sector before leaving Oz!!

Think of the question the customs inspectors ask you!

"Did you pack this bag yourself?" not "Is this your bag?"

Answer in the affirmitive and you have instantly admitted that the drugs are yours.

Cheers, HH.


Send Clowns
22nd Apr 2005, 23:40
Always lock your bags if going to/coming from former Soviet republics or the Far East, a rucksak should be wrapped up in lockable net, anything so that if it is opened the damage is obvious. If the lock is open/broken, then take it straight to customs and tell them, in front of witnesses, drag in airline staff if necessary! This has been going on for years.

Put up with the security staff maybe calling you to unlock your bags, delaying the flight. If you really can't lock it, then open it by the collection carousel and check there is nothing added, if there is, disown it!

However didn't the Aussies have the stuff strapped to their bodies? What's the excuse there?

Howard Hughes
23rd Apr 2005, 00:08
What's the excuse there?

None whatsover!!

Cheers, HH.


Kaptin M
23rd Apr 2005, 01:04
Locked bags are no deterrent for the professionals. Have you ever seen one of these guys at work? I have.
They have keys for probably EVERY lock fitted on any suitcase ever sold. Yep, it's a helluva lot of keys, but they can zero in on the exact one in seconds.

Combination locks take about 3 seconds!

If the lock looks too hard, no problems, the hinge at the back is knocked through, and it's opened that way.

So although you may well declare to the check-in staff that "Yes" you did indeed pack the suitcase yourself, and "Yes" you do know the contents AT THE TIME OF PACKING, and up until you entrust it to the care of the airline, you cannot claim to be fully aware of the contents upon arival.

This Schapelle Corby case, in my opinion, should now make the suitcase the responsibility of the carrier, once it leaves your care and is entrusted to the airlines' staff.
Check out this post Baggage snatchers sink to a new low (http://pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=170130), on the Dunnunda & Godzone forum for more stories of what the loaders get up to with YOUR checked in luggage :mad:

And now to the Indonesian officials side of things.
Indonesia, that country that is the epitome of cleanliness, honesty, and uprighteous behaviour.
"The defendant's actions can ruin the image of Bali as a tourist destination," he (Prosecutor Ida Bagus Wiswantanu) told the panel of three judges who must ultimately determine Ms Corby's fate.
"The defendant's actions can make Bali look like a drug haven and affect young people's lives." Is this guy for real?
Bali - infamous for the Bali bombing that killed and injured scores of innocent tourists a couple of years back.
Bali - the place where you can buy fake Rolex watches, fake Ray Ban sunglasses, fake Louis Vuitton merchandise. And countless other fake (copy) brands that sell openly in the shops, and on athe streets as the Government turns a blind eye whilst the genuine manufacturers copyrights are blatantly broken, and millions of dollars annually paid to the pirates of these trademarks.

How about Australians boycott Bali for a month and see how THAT impacts on this pious little part of the world!

And as an epilogue, I hope that this case now leads to the airlines being named as the party legally responsible for the contents of pax baggage, once it is checked in.
This may well entail a slower check-in, as baggage is x-rayed and perhaps searched PRE-FLIGHT, but it sure as hell will put an end to the organised drug running, and thieving that currently exists!

Onan the Clumsy
23rd Apr 2005, 04:08
If you really can't lock it, then open it by the collection carousel and check there is nothing added, if there is, disown it! ...after everyone watched you open it?

Solid Rust Twotter
23rd Apr 2005, 08:59
Checking your bag unlocked in Africa would just be plain stupid. Even locked bags are opened and rifled.:rolleyes:

23rd Apr 2005, 09:36
Within-to/from US, I fasten/lock with coloured electrical cable ties. Only a deterent but you can see if its been TSAed/interfered with.

Elsewhere in world (especially Africa), I lock.

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2005, 09:55

Sorry, I didn't make it clear enough. It must be locked to be a real nuissance to open without damage. A decent combination is ideal, they take longer than 3 seconds to open without damage if the tumblers are well-made to have no feeling, but if all else fails net them up and tie off with cable ties and put a distinctive mark on the ties. Anything so they will either choose someone else's less secure luggage or damage yours visibly in the process. As I said, if all else fails, check your luggage before passing customs!

25th Apr 2005, 17:11
Onan the Clumsy

I realised when I logged off for the weekend the other day you were going to get me on that one you sharp witted fellow you, I suppose I was thinking like a European.

Have to eat my words somewhat though, read on the paper the other day that marijuana is not such an unharmful drug as one supposes. Turns out it has quite an effect on young minds that are prone to mental illness such as those under 18's which have not been fully formed physiologically speaking. Of course only a percentage will be prone to such disorders, schizophenia was mentioned for 1 & I think the ratio of those young users likely to be affected was 1 in four. I must fish out the article when I get home.

Turns out these cannabis cafes in Amsterdam have gone way down in numbers from a high of 1,500 to a present 300 & the authorities are making harder for anyone to get a licence to open a new cannabis cafe. Maybe they've witnessed the negative effect its had on its young people going around stoned & screwed up in the head.

I found Kaptin M's comments very interesting as I did SC's advice. While I'm only visiting Singapore this year on a long stopover & my hold luggage will be going straight through on the plane to Amsterdam on route to Dublin, it won't be long before I decide to do one of my mad intensive trips of the Orient given my fascination with this part of the world. But why should I expose myself to this risk, unlikely I know but its still present & were I to be unlucky could land me in a filthy hellhole for the rest of my life. I would never dream of trafficking drugs but the type of off the wall trips I'm known to take would make me fair game for a plant particularly since I tend to travel alone, though usually join up with tours for most of my trips. I get the impression, could be wrong that the justice system over there, when it comes to the subject of drug running tend to assume you're guilty till you prove your innocent. In other words if you are found carrying the drugs it must have been intentional on your part & innocent defendants have a hard time proving otherwise & have to endure months if not years of degrading hell holes either way.

Thailand & Indonesia are begging us & showering westerners with sob stories about how their economies need tourists to spring back from the devastating tsunami. If so why should we put our lives, freedom & future on line with their antiquated, medieval prisons & ways of deeming drug runners are guilty (& I'm not referring to that Australian group, IMHO the're as guilty as the nose on ones face) even though the drugs may have been planted.

Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2005, 20:17
Omaha All part of the service ma'am :ok:

Clowns You can't make your luggage a real nuisance to open without damage. Not in the US at least. And if you find a big bag of weed in it before passing customs, then what? You just heave it into the trash and hope the rest of your luggage doesn't alarm the drug sniffing dogs?

Send Clowns
25th Apr 2005, 20:49
No, you take it to customs, with as many witnesses as you can, and say "this is not mine - it has been planted". It is then ridiculous ot claim you were carrying drugs, as there is no way you could have got them through if you admit to them. By preference get witnesses from the airline - it is not good for their business to have passengers arrested, so they will give accurate testimony in court.

If you are really in a shitty country then take out of the bag what you cannot do without, walk through customs and get a ticket on the first flight out of there to somewhere civilised, leaving the rest of your luggage. Take anything identifying, and especially the tag, with you!

Oh, and if what you say is true (I've not been stateside since there panic reaction set in in 2001) then don't fly directly from there to a country of which you don't trust the legal system.

Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2005, 21:20
you take it to customs, with as many witnesses as you can, and say "this is not mine - it has been planted". You're kidding right? You would go up to singapore customs with a bag of coke and say "This isn't mine"? And for witnesses, you'd use people who didn't know you, who just happened to be on the same aircraft and are really thinking "I don't know anything about this guy, maybe it IS his and I dont' want to end up in jail with him". Then the customs guy looks at your witness and says "ok, but it might be a while before we can get this to trial, so...if you're a witness, you'll have to stay here"

it is not good for their business to have passengers arrested but not as bad as having their employees arrested (like the certain US major airline baggage thieving ring that ended up killing their supervisor)

so they (the airlines) will give accurate testimony in court I'm sure they will, airlines being such honest companies.

However I do like the idea of just leaving the bad on the carousel, bit of a sacrifice though. Perhaps just rip off the tag and bail, having made sure at the time of packing that it contains no identifying material.

Check out the TSA web site and if the legal system at the destination is that bad, perhaps reconsider going at all.

Send Clowns
25th Apr 2005, 23:13
What would be the logic of smuggling coke and then taking it up to customs and disowning it? Even in corrupt countries the customs aren't entirely stupid. In Singapore I am sure they are very aware of what goes on, or they wouldn't catch people so often! The witness is simply to avoid the possibility of customs corruption. The idea is that it never comes to trial (or in fact the threat of trial, to encourage a bribe).

It was, by the way, the advice I was given when intending to go to Russia, by someone who had been there a lot. The actual intention is to signal to the crooks that you are aware of the threat; they then tend to leave your bags alone and target someone else.

Hey, still go. If we live in fear, we don't live at all! I'm still trying to get to Africa to do some bush flying if I can find the job, and my friend who was accused of murder while out there agrees I should.

Pappa Smurf
25th Apr 2005, 23:18
From what i understand it wasnt a locked bag.It was a surfboard or boogy board in a cover.
The story goes,that it went in transit and the dope was meant to be taken out before being transferred to Bali flight.

4 kilos-----too much money for her so she would have to be a carrier.

The average wage in Bali is bugger all and you can buy silly weed there at a cheap price so who in their right mind would take it up there when you can make a hell of a lot more in aussie.

She has to be innocent ,but the other 9 are in deep sh1t.

26th Apr 2005, 12:22
Re: marijuana, I have the paper article with me.

It says "The most crucial question in the use of cannabis is the age at which it is first used. The younger the person, the more likely they are to develop cannabis psychosis subsequently. It can be seriously dangerous to experiment with cannabis before the age of 16, or even 18, because the frontal cortex of the brain has not yet finished being formed.

Research has shown that one person in four carries a gene which increases vulnerability to psychotic illness triggered by cannabis use. This is most commonly schozophrenia, or a personality disorder, and can mean lasting and persistent mental illness through adult life. Using cannabis doubles the risk of schizophrenia, hallucinations and paranoia among a genetically vulnerable group.

Of course those not genetically vulnerable will not suffer any ill affects & some people use cannabis to aid health problems such as certain muscular disorders. It can be less dangerous for older people. it's unlikely to trigger schozophrenia in the mature brain.

Some psychiatrists are now saying that we will face a significant increase in mental illness in the future because so many young prople are experimenting with cannabis at an early age, some as young as 13 & 14."

So if any of you are thinking about becoming cool, weed smoking dudes I think the experts advice is DON'T!

Limit State
26th Apr 2005, 13:39
So if any of you are thinking about becoming cool, weed smoking dudes I think the experts advice is DON'T!

Are you for real? :rolleyes:

Onan the Clumsy
26th Apr 2005, 14:23
What was the source of this article?

What's the pedigree of its author?

26th Apr 2005, 16:30
Limit State

It's a joke, it is Jetblast after all, we're allowed make silly, harmless jokes here. Well I thought it was funny anyway. :\

Onan the Clumsy

It was printed in the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine.

Some research was carried out by Robin Murray at the 'Institute of Psychiatry' in London, who found out that the most crucial question in the use of cannabis is the age at which it is first used.

The most recent study of cannabis was carried out at the Institute of Psychiatry (attached to King's College, London), by Avshalom Caspi and Terri Moffit who found that one person in four carries a gene increasing their vulnerabilty to psychotic illness triggered by cannabis use.

A Massachusetts study (doesn't say where) found that cannabis use doubles the risk of mental illness among a genetically vulnerable group.

The author of the article is a well known & respected, female journalist who I feel writes excellent, balanced articles. It is not from a tabloid paper but a respected Irish daily newspaper.

Hope this answers your question.

26th Apr 2005, 21:38
I found it odd that I could fly into the US with a locked back, but I couldn't fly out of the US with one. However my colleague insisted that his bag had been rifled though on the way in - and oddly had had the batteries taken out of his digi camera. Im expecting the pictures of the trip to include some TSA guy looking into the lense, and a looking surprised as it went off in his hand.

So - Vietnam - what type of country is that? Do I need to zip lock all my pockets on my rucksack, and a steel net thing? Or are the airside bagage loaders there an honest bunch like through out the whole of the USA?

Woof etc
26th Apr 2005, 22:37
With apologies to Lee Evans:

Check in dolly: Did you leave your bag unattended - at any time?

Response: Well its been in the %$#@ loft for the last 6 months.

26th Apr 2005, 23:00
Google "pacsafe".
(Giggle) Wonder what the "Stashsafe" item might be used for carrying?!

OK, OK - I'm going....


9th May 2005, 13:10
More interesting updates about the case. It won't be just for the Far East I'll be getting new luggage, I will be too when I travel to Oz. I wonder what reputation do New Zealand baggage handlers have given that I'm flying home via Singapore and Amsterdam. :uhoh:



Flaps I just saw your post LOL You mean we agree on something for once, thanks for the tip! ;)

Actually Flaps, I knew that companies name rang a bell. I have one of their combination locks & they were excellent to me when one of their products was faulty. They took no time in sending me out a replacement (thought it was my fault initially) without any whims. Great customer service. :ok:

4th Jun 2005, 17:40
See where the lady in question got 20 years in a Bali jail. Heaven help her. :\


Another issue is why her case gets so much attention when there are others in her position of doubtful guilt who get none. Good looks obviously get you alot of attention, I should think.




tony draper
4th Jun 2005, 17:49
Only flew out of Heathrow once in me life and that was many years ago,had suitcase with those small padlocks on em, my boss told me to take them off or the theiving buggas would just cut the bag open with a stanley knife,dunno what the situation is like now,or even if what he said was true,nowt in the case worth nicking really,just a few hand tools meters and stuff and as far as I could tell nobody had been in the case.


4th Jun 2005, 21:38
Thinking about making your suitcase tamper-proof ......... those machines which wrap the case in plastic must be a fairly secure way of protecting luggage.

I haven't ever seen them in any UK airport but I imagine that they might be a very good business to get into just now.

5th Jun 2005, 10:07
Seems like more people have had their bags opened and in this case, someone belongings ended up in a wrong bag.

Passenger claims drugs planted in bag
16:58 AEST Sun Jun 5 2005
An Australian man has told police someone planted prescription drugs in his bag as he returned to Perth on a flight from South Africa.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have interviewed the man, who arrived home Saturday and told officers at Perth airport he had found a batch of legal drugs in his bag.

The drugs were not his and belonged to another passenger, the man said.

An AFP spokesman said an investigation into the man's claims had been launched.

"They are pharmaceutical and perfectly legal drugs and obtainable at a chemist, there was nothing illegal about the drugs," the spokesman said.

"However, the man claims they mysteriously appeared in his bag so we went and spoke to him yesterday at his home and we will investigate the circumstances."

The spokesman said the drugs were being tested as a precaution but it was unlikely they were illegal.

"We are taking that precautionary measure to make sure they are indeed the exact type of drugs as indicated on the prescription."

Perth airport corporate communications manager Lucia Mondi said the airport would not be launching a separate investigation.

"When there is a matter relating to criminal activities or incidents of drugs, that is a Customs matter and then one for the Australian Federal Police," she said.

"Aviation security is in our jurisdiction and because it is not an airline matter and AFP and Customs are looking at it, it wouldn't be something we would launch an investigation into."
Source (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=5566)

Solid Rust Twotter
5th Jun 2005, 10:18
I know we're not too bright and a little backward here in S'Efrica, but planting prescription drugs....?:suspect: