Saturday, April 26, 2014

Erik Anthony Audé, National Geographic Channel's Locked Up Abroad on BusinessTravelRADIO

Locked Up Abroad

In 2002, Audé was persuaded to carry leather samples from Islamabad, Pakistan to the United States by Razmik Minasian (who used the alias Rai Gharizian), an Armenian client at the gymnasium where Audé was employed. Minasian concealed from Audé the fact that the case containing leather skirts and jackets also contained opium.[4] On February 15, 2002, Audé was arrested at Islamabad International Airport after being found, according to Pakistani authorities, with 3.6 kilograms (7.9 pounds) of opium in the process of embarking on his scheduled flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 Pakistan not being a party to the United States' Prison Transfer Treaty program, the actor, convicted in January 2003, began serving a sentence of seven years at the Adiala Central Jail in nearby Rawalpindi. At the time, a number of articles in the press speculated on the odds of his surviving the full term of his seven-year sentence.

 Audé's 2004 release followed an appeal by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson just before Christmas, and followed Minasian's written confession that Audé was innocent of knowing he was being used to smuggle opium. A number of websites were set up to help promote his cause, and to document the struggle to free him. The actor arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on December 26, 2004 after entering the United States at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. As of 2009 Audé lives in the San Fernando Valley.

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approx 16 min

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