I am constantly surprised by the number of British travellers who find themselves in foreign climes complete with a suitcase full of illegal drugs declaring themselves completely innocent of all charges and demanding help from the British Consulate.
Take for example the recent case of the young lady from Hull who has just been found guilty of trafficking 290 Tramadol into Egypt allegedly for her husbands severe back pain, now why would you endeavour to traffic one of Egypt's most widely abused recreational drugs into a country where should you get caught they will throw the book at you.
I'm sorry, you can call me a sceptical old bastard if you like but her story that they are available in the UK on prescription is all well and good but she didn't obtain them on prescription, she acquired them from someone else, had she entered the country with these drugs which where obtained on prescription for a long term medical condition which she was being treated for I'm guessing the outcome may have been completely different.
At best her version of events is hard to believe and at worse extremely naive, if you follow her argument you could try the same trick with a suitcase full of heroine on the basis that it's available on prescription in the UK, assuming you're a registered heroine addict of course.
I feel sorry for this young woman who may have done this in all innocence perhaps encouraged by her husband, (who knows) but unfortunately even in this country ignorance of the law is never a defence and even less so when abroad and in a strange country with completely different morals and ethics.
Events like this should be a warning to people but sadly it seems not to be the case, they always assume if I get caught they will let me go because I'm British, well guess what that's not how it works.
Before trying this try to put yourself in the place of the foreign customs officials, who are very experienced at spotting trafficking and who must actually be quite upset that trafficers would insult their intelligence by even attempting anything this naive.
We are then left with our Foreign Office going through the motions to secure her release when in all fairness by the laws of the land of Egypt she was probably very lucky to receive such a light sentence.
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