Thursday, October 22, 2009
Someone was going to do it this Thursday but . . I don't understand what makes young, everything-to-live-for people, become mules in the drug trafficking world. I can almost understand a young South American rose processor living in abject poverty being tempted to take heroin or cocaine into the US for money that might save a family member's life. I can understand an Afghan poppy grower who makes his livelihood growing a crop where he never sees its deadly consequence. I can understand the same of the Burmese Triangle . .simple men who grow a lucrative crop of innocent flowers to feed the world's addiction . .I don't like the processors, the manufacturers, the traffickers who take advantage of these people to finance their own ends.
What I don't understand is an 18 year old Australian who takes the stuff into Indonesia thinking for a minute that they won't get caught. Even now, the Bali Nine . . kids, not the smartest tools in the shed . . cajoled by the promise of a holiday and a few thousand dollars strapped kilos of heroin to their bodies with the intention of bringing it back to Australia and of course were caught at the Denpassur departure gate. Much has been made of the Australian Federal Police because had they been arrested on entry into Australia, their sentence would have been lighter. But no, they were tipped off in Indonesia and that's where they are today.
Bali is a popular Indonesian holiday destination . . especially for Australians. It's cheap, it's close, it's beautiful, it's corrupt and it's politically and ideologically dangerous. These guys thought they'd get away with it. They were arrested on April 17, 2005. Four years later they're still awaiting their fate when they should be partying hard and enjoying life. These nine are now languishing in a foreign country, in a prison where money talks and awaiting a range of sentences from life to death. Three of the nine - Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and Scott Rush - are on death row, while the other six were handed sentences of 20 years in jail or life imprisonment. You'd think that just months after Shapel Corby received a life sentence for importing kilos of cannibis within a body board bag, they'd have more sense. All nine, caught together.
When my son and his girlfriend ventured to Thailand in 2008 he was totally paranoid about someone putting drugs in his bags or being arrested for trafficking even though the most toxic thing in his luggage was toothpaste. Special combination locks were installed on their bags to prevent access and he was seriously freaking out in case someone 'planted' something in his bags. Not so these 9 who thought about the quick buck and now have to deal with the long haul. Whilst these kids await their fate . . .3 years later . . we're no closer to catching the real culprits. Who are the traffickers . . the mules or their masters?