“We thought we were being bred”: a Russian woman ended up in a Thai prison because of a medicine sold to her in a pharmacy

“We thought we were being bred”: a Russian woman ended up in a Thai prison because of a medicine sold to her in a pharmacy

Russian woman Valentina Andreeva was detained in Thailand for illegal possession of a psychotropic drug, which she freely sold in a local pharmacy under the guise of an anesthetic. During the vacation, Valentina was bitten by a monkey – the wound inflamed, and the girl went to the pharmacy for pills. There, according to her, instead of anesthetic they gave her a potent drug that is dispensed strictly according to the prescription. A few hours later, police detained Valentina and charged with possession of drugs. Andreeva spent several days in prison. She was released on bail, but she is still in Thailand awaiting trial.

In November, a resident of St. Petersburg, Valentina Andreeva, with her young man, Kirill Chikurov, was resting in Phuket. During one of the excursions, a nuisance happened – a wild monkey bit her hand. On the way to the hospital, young people drove to the pharmacy to buy an antiseptic and pain medication, because Valentina’s hand was very painful and swollen.

“I was told to go to the hospital as soon as possible, said that the bite may be dangerous, and an antiseptic is nonsense, and you need to urgently give injections from rabies. They gave me an anesthetic – just a blister, without cardboard packaging. This didn’t really bother me, because in Russia they also sometimes sell pills. Of course, it was a big mistake not to look on the Internet what the drug was given to us, ”RT Andreeva told.

It turned out that instead of the pain medication they sold the powerful anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam, which in Thailand, it is strictly prescription and is included in the list of narcotic drugs. Storage of the drug without a doctor’s prescription is illegal.

According to Valentina, she did not manage to take these pills. Arriving at the hotel for medical insurance, the girl immediately went to the clinic. There the wound was treated and the first rabies shot was given.

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When Valentine and Cyril returned to the hotel on a bike, they were stopped by police and asked to show bags. Among the things of Andreeva, law enforcement officers found the very package of Alprazolam.

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“We didn’t even think that something was wrong,” Valentina recalls. – When the police told us that it was a narcotic drug, we did not believe at all, we thought that they were bred us. Naturally, they began to prove their case. When we talked about the consulate, they began to scare me, threaten me with a fine and a prison. ”

Valentina and Kirill suspect that the police first wanted to resolve the issue by receiving a certain amount of money from them.

According to Andreeva, they were shown the numbers – “the size of the fine” for the crime they committed. Young people realized that they were offering to release them for money, but, being confident in their rightness, agreed to go to the department. There it became obvious that everything was very serious. The Russian woman insisted that they sold the illegal drug to her at the local pharmacy and offered to take a test for any drugs, but this did not convince the police.

As a result, Valentina was sent to a pre-trial detention center.

According to the girl, she finally passed the drug test, and the results were negative.

“I don’t take drugs, I’m far from doing this, I go in for sports, I have a completely different social circle, good work, everything is fine with me. It’s just ridiculous, ”Andreeva insists.

SIZO and prison

In the detention center, the girl spent about 36 hours. She was not allowed to eat and drink, was not provided with an interpreter, and was not even explained what exactly was happening. The conditions in which Thai prisoners are kept, Andreeva recalls with a shudder.

“There was a pregnant woman, she had contractions and had a miscarriage, and did not receive any help. There are 60 people in the cell, about a square meter of area for each. Creepy unsanitary conditions. After all, I got there with a bite right away, did not have time to take the whole course of vaccinations. If there was rabies, my days would be numbered. ”

While the girl was in prison, a young man Valentina tried to contact the Russian consulate. According to him, representatives of the consulate answered only six days later. At that time, Cyril had already managed to find a lawyer (according to the rules, you can only hire local lawyers) and secure the release of Valentina on bail in 20 thousand rubles. The couple paid much more to the lawyer himself – for the “service.”

“Lawyers here mercilessly pull money. In order for the lawyer to agree to be my guarantor and simply make a deposit, he demanded 60 thousand rubles. And he does nothing more, does not help me in any way, ”Andreeva admits.

Waiting court

Valentina still cannot leave Thailand, she must wait for the court. The hearing date is unknown. Andreeva had to look for cheap housing on the island and renew her visa, as well as spend money on the services of a lawyer and translators. The girl hopes that before the new year, the court will deport her to Russia, simply sentenced to a fine, but she understands that the situation may be different.

  •                                 © Photo from the personal archive of Valentina Andreeva                             

“A fine may be imposed on the storage of this substance from to 30 thousand baht, (about -60 thousand roubles.- RT ), but can be planted for a period of one to five years. I’m even ready to admit my guilt, just to let me go home. But I can easily end up in prison again, there is no guarantee that I will be fined by court order and then sent for deportation, ”Andreeva notes.

Moreover, in case of deportation Valentina herself will have to pay for the ticket, and you can only choose direct flights with certain airlines.

“Not all airlines agree to transport prisoners. In fact, you can only fly by Aeroflot or Thai Airlines. A ticket will cost somewhere in 30 thousand rubles. Only God knows how much I will spend. Now the young man and parents are helping – I had to tell them, although at first I really did not want to bother them. My friends also organized a fundraising for me on VKontakte, the girl says.

Consulate help

Representatives of the Russian consulate, according to Valentina, eventually contacted her, but warned They won’t be able to help.

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“I was told to wait for the trial. They did not begin to allocate money for a lawyer or a translator, they only sympathized. They also cannot help to extend my visa and my deportation, ”Andreeva said. “I can understand that our consulate cannot interfere in the trial, but I don’t understand why they cannot provide me with protection.” Everything that I am doing now to resolve the situation, I am doing it myself, together with Kirill. ”

Kirill Chikurov recently returned to St. Petersburg, where he consults with an international lawyer and tries to rescue his girlfriend from the resort . However, according to him, everything rests against the lack of support from the consulate.

Kirill noted that Valentina should have been given access to the materials of her case and the indictment sheet for a long time, but this has still not happened. In his opinion, the consulate could well expedite the process and request the case file.

“There have already been precedents with the detention of Russians in Thailand. In many cases, they were able to return to Russia fairly quickly, precisely because the consulate was quickly involved in the work, requested materials from the case, and accelerated the deportation process. But they don’t provide such support to us, ”complains Chikurov.

Condemn the pharmacy

At Russian travel forums, travelers are encouraged to be careful when buying medicine in Thailand, as some pharmacies sell strictly strictly prescription drugs.

After the arrest of Valentina Andreeva, her young man as an experiment returned to the pharmacy where his prescription drug was sold to his girlfriend. According to Cyril, he was again given Alprazolam without any problems, but he wasn’t given a receipt.

He left the tablets on the counter and took the video of the “control purchase” to the police. But from the Russian, according to him, they only waved him off, threatening to arrest him as well. Andreeva herself notes that she sees no reason to sue the pharmacy.

“The reason we don’t want to sue this pharmacy, although many have already suggested we do it, I’m afraid to get stuck here even longer. I can’t sit still without work and do all of this here. Now my main task is to return to my hometown soon, ”concluded Valentina.