Smuggling suspect taken to hospital

Lindsay Sandiford was paraded at a press conference wearing an orange prison T-shirt, flanked by masked, armed officers in Bali (AP)

Lindsay Sandiford was paraded at a press conference wearing an orange prison T-shirt, flanked by masked, armed officers in Bali (AP)

First published in National News © by

A British woman being held over a £1.6 million cocaine haul in Indonesia has been taken to hospital, according to reports.

Rachel Dougall, who is said to not have slept or eaten for days, was taken for treatment after complaining of feeling ill.

She was arrested by police in Bali on suspicion of drug trafficking along with fellow Britons Julian Ponder and Paul Beales at the end of May. An Indian man was also arrested.

The four suspects were held in a sting operation after British housewife Lindsay Sandiford, 55, was allegedly caught with 4.8kg of cocaine stuffed in the lining of a suitcase as she arrived on the sunshine island.

Ms Dougall, who could receive the death penalty for the alleged smuggling operation, told the BBC she had been given a sedative on arrival at hospital.

She said she was being treated badly and complained that she had not been able to shower. The mother has maintained her innocence since her arrest, insisting she was the victim of a "fit-up".

It is believed she is in a relationship with Mr Ponder and the couple have a little girl Kitty, who is reportedly in the care of the couple's maid and gardener on the island. Mr Ponder has alleged that he was set up by Ms Sandiford as he went to pick up a birthday present for his daughter.

The Foreign Office said British officials were helping Ms Dougall's daughter as well as the arrested Britons. A spokesman said it did not have any information regarding the reports that Ms Dougall had been taken to hospital.

Customs officials have said that Mrs Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, may be spared the death sentence because she helped catch three other members of the smuggling operation, who could face a firing squad. Police have 60 days before they have to hand over their files to prosecutors, it is believed

Mrs Sandiford is thought to have told police she only agreed to make the smuggling trip because her children in England were being threatened. She was paraded at a press conference wearing an orange prison T-shirt, flanked by masked, armed officers in Kuta, a town on the holiday island, while a customs official cut open packages wrapped in brown tape to reveal a white powder.

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