Bangkok home be­hind bars for SA women drug smug­glers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

edly dis­cov­ered 1.5kg co­caine in her dread­locks.

There are seven other SA women serv­ing time for drug of­fences in Lard Yao where Nobanda will be kept on re­mand dur­ing her trial and

of where she will serve her sen­tence if con­victed.

Lard Yao is one of two women’s pris­ons in the Thai cap­i­tal, and is the big­gest of the eight in Thai­land.

It’s the jail of choice for Thai au­thor­i­ties to place for­eign crim­i­nals, and is de­signed to hold a max­i­mum of 3 268 in­mates.

Un­like men’s pris­ons which are clas­si­fied into min­i­mum to max­i­mum se­cu­rity lev­els, Lard Yao serves as an all-se­cu­ritylevel prison, with con­victs serv­ing any­thing from one month to be­ing on death row.

There is a host of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes Nobanda can look for­ward to, from com­puter train­ing to fash­ion de­sign, arts and crafts, cook­ing and cater­ing, learn­ing Thai, per­form­ing classical mu­sic and singing in the choir.

The prison has a nurs­ery for ba­bies born to the in­mates, a preg­nancy ward and a hos­pi­tal.

Pris­on­ers are housed in com­mu­nal cells. They’re ex­pected to work.

Nobanda could face any­where from 20 to 50 years in Lard Yao prison like her fel­low coun­try­men, in­clud­ing Bongek­ile Ncala, Dawn van Niek­erk, Nila Dug­i­nov, Oc­tavia Malevu and Pa­vaty Naidoo, who were all ar­rested for smug­gling drugs into Thai­land.

Two other South Africans are serv­ing life sen­tences in Thai­land: Eu­gene Noboto, who was jailed in 1971, and Eu­gene Nwaneri, who was con­victed in 2003.

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