Alberta woman 'unwitting drug mule'

BILL KAUFMANN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

CALGARY - Despite claims she was unwittingly used as a drug mule, a Calgary woman remains behind bars in Barbados after being arrested with cocaine secreted in her luggage.

Tina Dier, the mother of Tiffany Rain who was arrested April 27 at Bridgetown airport with 2.8 kg of cocaine sewn into the lining of her suitcase, said she fears her daughter could be in jail indefinitely.

"Some girls with in her jail have been in there for over a year because they can't get a lawyer," said Dier, adding Her Majesty Dodds Prison in Barbados harbours miserable conditions.

"When I talk to her on the phone she just cries ... she said it's really dirty."

Dier said Tiffany went to the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in early April with a male "father figure" friend who allowed her to stay with his family, so she could paint landscapes and tourists' portraits on the beach.

But late last month, she said it appears the male friend concocted a family crisis that required Tiffany to urgently return to Calgary seven weeks early, which gave the man an opportunity to pack the woman's suitcase.

Shortly after their private plane made a stop in Barbados, Dier said both Tiffany and her friend were arrested after authorities found cocaine in both their suitcases.

Tiffany has been charged with trafficking and importation. Her next court hearing is May 27.

The mom said she's convinced of her daughter's innocence, adding the man had pleaded guilty and vouched for Tiffany.

"She's a good girl, she really is ... she doesn't smoke or drink," she said.

"I wanted to kill him, but at least he owned up to it."

Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Dana Cyrderman confirmed a Canadian citizen had been arrested in Barbados on April 27.

"Consular officers are providing assistance to the individual and their family," said Cryderman, who couldn't discuss the case further due to confidentiality laws.

bill.kaufmann@sunmedia.ca


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