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Woman wanted in Thailand surfaces in Dublin

A fugitive dubbed the ‘most wanted woman in the world’ after fleeing drug smuggling charges in Thailand 18 years ago is unlikely to be extradited to Thailand after being located in Dublin, Ireland.

Lisa Marie Smith, 38, a dual British-Australian passport holder, fled Thailand in mid-1996 shortly after being released on bail. The Melbourne-born woman was facing charges of attempting to smuggle 4kg of raw opium and more than 500 amphetamine pills out of the country.

Lisa MarieLast April, the fugitive’s boyfriend, Stephen Maguire, was punched to the ground and kicked by a group of youths outside Hippety’s cafe, in Dublin’s trendy Temple Bar district.

The police investigation and media scrutiny surrounding the case eventually revealed that Ms Smith, still using her real name, had settled in Ireland and was running Hippety’s with Mr Maguire.

A check of the cafe’s business registration records revealed two joint directors in the company — Mr Maguire and Terence Smith, believed to be Ms Smith’s father.

Mr Smith, who at the time of his daughter’s arrest time was chief executive of an insurance company in Hong Kong, managed to secure her bail back in 1996.

Irish authorities said it is up to Thailand to decide whether to pursue the drug trafficking charges, despite a “red notice” for the fugitive’s arrest being issued by Interpol.

An Interpol officer said the statute of limitations on the trafficking charges would most likely be 20 years, setting the expiry date in February 2016.

However, the chances of Ms Smith being returned to Thailand before that time elapses are slim, because the Republic of Ireland does not have an extradition treaty with Thailand.

Read the original story here

Phuket News

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