Crime Suppression Unit Part 24
• Grand Metropark Hotel Beijing
• Guo Hong Hotel
• Holiday Inn Central Plaza Hotel
• Norlin Hotel
A Surprise Stop
Sonia continued her story as they drove down the highway coming closer to Chang Rai.
'As I said I never quite made it to Italy. On the way to the airport my boyfriends mobile phone rang. It was his office on Thanon Surawong. He had to go back to sign an important document. If we did go back we would miss the plane for sure. He begged me to go on ahead as he knew his parents would be waiting for us at the airport and would be very worried if we did not show up. He said he would take the next flight out and in the mean time his family would take care of me. I didn't want to leave with out him but it seemed like the best plan.
His parents were old and I did not want to inconvenience them.
He gave me one of the two tickets from an envelope and asked me to check in his luggage also as he did not want to take it back to the office. He dropped me at the airport and kissed me goodbye.
'Don't tell me Sonia, let me guess.' Andrew said.
'Yes, I was so stupid. I checked the luggage and boarded the plane. I have a beautiful seat in business class. I was so happy and excited to be going to Italy. A flight attendant came by and asked me my name; right behind her were two police men and they took me off the plane in handcuffs. I was so angry; I screamed and cried. They made a big mistake.
I was taken to a room where our luggage was laid out on a table. They cut our suitcases apart. I was really angry with them.
Then I saw it. The linings of our suitcases were filled with packages of heroin. Sixteen kilos. I say, must belong to my future husband.
'And who is that? They ask.
'I can explain everything, look at his name and address on the luggage tag.'
'The tags were all in your name, weren't they?'
'Yes and then I say check name on other ticket, seat next to me.'
'There was no other ticket, was there Sonia? Your friend had bought just one ticket and meant all along to send you by yourself. If you had made it, he would have joined you later, but not until it was safe.'
'Right, there was no other ticket. They took me to women's prison. I was there three weeks and worried sick everyday.
Everyone knows there is a death penalty in Thailand for smuggling this large amount of drugs. Since this was my first time it might be possible to receive life in prison. I don't know which would be worse.
An attorney came to see me, to help prepare my defense I imagined. 'What defense could I have? Sheer stupidity?
He told me an amazing thing. All of the heroin went missing, every kilo. Someone must have stolen it from the safe as it was worth a fortune he said. The lawyer told me that the record of my arrest had disappeared also and that there was not a shred of evidence against me and I that I was free to go.
I walked out of the prison into the sunlight in a daze. I was hungry and weak from not eating properly and I did not notice the large black Mercedes at the curb. The driver was leaning against the front fender, a large man in a suit and tie. He grabbed my arm and put me in the back seat. I found myself sitting next to an elegant looking older gentleman in a really expensive suit, not like the one the driver wore. As the car pulled away the man opened a briefcase and took out my arrest file. There I was photographed with my statement and the statements of the arresting officers. In the briefcase were two kilos of heroin.
He told me that he had everything and that it could turn up at anytime. He was holding a death sentence over me or life in prison, same thing really. He made me understand that I was to become his mia taad.
Andrew spoke next. 'Having been in Thailand for a while, I am familiar with the terms mia luang and mia noi which are first and legal wife and then an acknowledged minor wife but I don't know what a mia taad is.'
'There are five types of wives here in Thailand. The next are mia chow which is rented wife, a mia kep, a hidden wife or consort and the last is mia taad, the worse kind, a slave wife and that's been banished since the nineteenth century but the term is used today for someone under domination. The man as good looking and rich as he was, seemed to need someone to do his bidding without question and he made that clear to me. He made me understand that I had no choice in this matter.'
'What were you forced to do?' Rick asked.
'Well, of course have sex with him, but not much really, nothing kinky. He introduced me to many people and I acted as kind of a hostess and he had me do errands of many kinds. After a while I understood that he was using me for lang-doo-poo-sua.'
'Lang-doo-poo-sua is old Thai custom of using girl and her sex to smooth out business arrangements or for economic or political advantages. This man's fingers are in everything and I went to many meetings with him. He controlled me but also controlled many businesses. Sometimes he leave me with business people. But that is not all he want; he asked me to do many things that I did not understand.'
'It was like he was directing a movie and I was playing a part in it along with others. It was strange. He told me what to say and what to do.'
'What part did you play?'
'Rick, watch out!' Sonia screamed as a black station wagon swerved in front of them.
Rick hit the brakes. A black SUV gained behind them and pulled up close behind as the vehicle in front slowed.
Rick went to pass and the station wagon pulled out in front of them, blocking their path. The SUV in the back was riding their bumper now. A scream filled the air as both vehicles sounded their sirens. Rick stopped the truck.
Six men in black coveralls, bulletproof vests, assault weapons and black helmets sprang from the back of the lead vehicle and surrounded the truck.
A military jeep pulled alongside and the leader of the Crime Suppression Unit stepped down from the passenger's seat approached the vehicle and shouted, 'Shut off the engine and step out.'
A nice story.