Ex-husband of Aussie mum Debbie Voulgaris, accused of drug trafficking, breaks silence

The Nightly
Australian mother of five Debbie Voulgaris faces a potential death penalty in Taiwan after being arrested at an airport allegedly with 7kg of drugs in her suitcase.
Australian mother of five Debbie Voulgaris faces a potential death penalty in Taiwan after being arrested at an airport allegedly with 7kg of drugs in her suitcase. Credit: Taiwan Police/change.org

The ex-husband of Australian mother Debbie Voulgaris, who is accused of trying to smuggle 7kg of heroin and cocaine into Taiwan, has said she is “bloody innocent” after reports claim she blamed John Voulgaris for the drug trafficking attempt.

The mother of five who was arrested at Taoyuan International Airport in December, has strenuously denied she had any knowledge of the drugs and maintains she is an innocent party.

Mr Voulgaris angrily denied the allegations and claimed the pair had never even seen drugs before.

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‘‘She is bloody innocent!’’, he told the Daily Mail Australia.

‘‘We have been set up! We don’t know anything about bloody drugs and have never seen or touched them in our lives.’’

Mr Voulgaris said the drugs were part of an elaborate scam by criminals posing as overseas investors.

He said he first met with the group 16 years ago and met them in Taiwan in 2007 as part of their business dealings.

Mr Voulgaris claims the group’s solicitor recently got in touch with a new proposal.

‘‘All we were doing was an overseas investment,’’ he said.

‘‘They wanted to invest. I sent $3m out of my money.

‘’When I found out [about her arrest], I tried to get in contact with them but they switched off their phones.

‘‘She hasn’t done anything wrong!’’, he told the Daily Mail.

The strict laws in the island nation mean Ms Voulgaris, if found guilty, could face a death sentence by firing squad.

Taiwanese police allege Ms Voulgaris was handed the category one drugs in Malaysia around December 10 before she flew to Taiwan.

They further allege the Aussie mum was paid $US1,800 ($A2,700) to take the drugs in addition to her accommodation and transport costs.

The drugs had a street value of about $1.25m, according to Chen Po-chuan, the captain of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Brigade.

Mr Po-chaun said Ms Voulgaris told authorities she was in Taiwan for a holiday.

He said officers had been sent to her hotel to see if anyone came to collect the drugs, but no one had arrived.

Ms Voulgaris has been detained in a Taiwanese prison since her arrest.

Her lawyer Leon Huang said his client was a ‘good-natured person’ who ‘believed people easily’ and had been used as a drug ‘mule’.

‘Based on her description… it appeared that number one, Ms Debbie Voulgaris was not aware of the nature of her travelling,’ Mr Huang said.

‘And number two, she had no idea of what’s placed inside and under her luggage, because there is a hidden compartment and she wasn’t aware of that.’

Mr Huang said that because his client had admitted guilt early, while still maintaining she didn’t know about the drugs, she may avoid the death penalty.

‘If the court finds someone worthy of sympathy, like Debbie’s case, typically, they would not want to offer the option of death sentence,’ he said.

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