THE Thai student who was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the US, on a drug possession charge although what she was carrying was a massage oil spray and capsules of the Thai herb fah talai jone returned to Thailand at 11 p.m. last night, Sanook.com said this afternoon (June 12).
Miss Sirindha Jinparu, 21, had travelled to the US from Bangkok with her stepfather, Mr. Joe DeBose, and her 12-year-old sister from Bangkok arriving there on May 14.
DeBose said Sirindha ran into an issue as she went through customs.The officials claimed that she was carrying drugs, which was in fact a massage spray containing cannabidiol (CBD) with no more than legally required 3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from cannabis and used to relieve aches and pains as well as some capsules of the Thai herb fah talai jone (andrographis paniculata / king of bitters) believed to help in the treatment of coronavirus.
Sinindha said upon her arrival here that the Atlanta airport authorities found the massage spray with only the English letters “THC” on it and fah talai jone capsules with the text all in Thai, which her mother had herself put in her bag, and thought she was bringing in marijuana and called Atlanta police to come and pick her up.
However the police briefly interrogated her and decided to not press charges and she was sent to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Sirindha then told ICE officials that she is a US citizen because her biological father is one.
Upon hearing this ICE officials detained her to prove the truth. They cancelled her tourist visa with the detention stretching for a month.
DeBose, a retired Marine, and her biological father had provided the necessary documentation to prove her claim to US citizenship.
“That was denied because of lack of DNA evidence, which her biological father was happy to provide,” DeBose said. “ICE isn’t willing to cooperate with a DNA test. They essentially have told me … it’s basically a done deal as far as they’re concerned. They’re sending her back.”
Her family had submitted a certificate that she suffered from depression. However this led to her being kept solitary confinement as the officials feared she might be a danger to the others through lack of medication and also made her wear a self-harm prevention suit for seven days.
She added that it was very cold out there with her hands and feet turning green but all they gave her to keep them warm was a lot of tissues.
Sirindha added that the US officials said what she had carried in her bag had tested positive, meaning it was a drug. She was then deported and banned from entering the US for five years for trying to take prohibited items into the US.
Meanwhile the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington issued a warning about taking of herbs, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals or extracts without clear labels in English stating the ingredients to the US.
They should not take any drugs or medical supplies that contain cannabis or other banned substances there.
Sirindha is back in Thailand after being deported by the US. Photo: Sanook.com