Thursday, May 18, 2017


Melbourne woman says she was detained at US airport, thrown into women’s prison

Herald Sun
May 17, 2017

A young Melbourne woman claims her dream Hawaiian holiday turned into a nightmare when she was thrown into a foreign women’s prison.

Molly Hill, in a Facebook post, says she had bags in-tow at a US airport when customs officers claiming she intended to overstay her visa pulled her aside.

Ms Hill, 26, had quit her job to travel to the United States to visit her boyfriend on a holiday after meeting him on a previous trip to Hawaii for a friend’s wedding.

On Facebook, Ms Hill, who was travelling on a tourist visa, claims officers grilled her with questions for six hours, before denying her entry into the country.

But it only got worse from there.

“In the end they were convinced I wanted to immigrate illegally because my diary had notes like ‘going away drinks’ and ‘last day at work’, things I got in order before expecting to be away for 3 months,” her Facebook post read, “I was told there were no more flights to Australia that day and I would have to spend the night at the detention centre, which the officer described as ‘like jail but you can’t make any phone calls’.

“A few more hours later myself and a Japanese woman were handcuffed and transported to the detention centre, which was a federal prison.

“I was frisked, made to undress in front of an officer and show that there was nothing in my hair or mouth, and asked to ‘squat and cough’ which was absolutely mortifying.”

Ms Hill then described how she spent the night — her birthday — in a prison cell.

“I couldn’t believe I was in the same place as the chick whose boyfriend convinced her to drive 70 lb’s of heroin and meth over the Mexican border,” she wrote.

The following morning, Ms Hill said she was made to return to the airport handcuffed, and also made to buy a ticket to Sydney — despite living in Melbourne and having already paid for a return ticket home.

News Corp Australia has contacted the US Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection for comment.

Ms Hill’s mother Donna Bridges, who had only briefly spoken to her daughter before flying home, said she was distraught over the ordeal.

Ms Bridges said her daughter, who was flying home and could not be contacted at the time of writing, had been excitedly planning and waiting for this trip for months.

“Based on what she had written in her diary, they made the assumption that she was planning to work over there, which she absolutely had no intention to do, whatsoever,” Ms Bridges said.

“They would have seen from her clothes it was all vacation wear; it was all shorts, and she was carrying a yoga mat, because she was planning to do a bit of exercise while she was over there.”

Ms Hill’s former boss, Mini Sarkissian told the Herald Sun she was shocked when she saw the Facebook post about the horror trip.

“I feel sick to my stomach about it,” Ms Sarkissian said.

“I am absolutely shattered.”

She said Ms Hill had resigned from her marketing job to take the trip because Ms Hill couldn’t hold her role open for an extended period.

“I do that for all my staff who want to take holidays for an extended time. If you take more than six or seven weeks you need to resign. I don’t think that’s unreasonable for companies.”

She had hoped to re-employ Ms Hill when she returned from her trip, if there was an opening, but was now worried that the fact the 26-year-old had resigned from her job may have raised concerns for the US immigration authorities.

Ms Sarkissian said it was not unusual for young people to want to travel for longer periods and she had done it herself when her boyfriend had lived in Los Angeles years ago, travelling to see him every few months.

“Kids fall in love and you’ve got to let them go. I did the same thing as her at her age.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dorina Lisson, my dear Aussie friend who sent me this report, thinks “maybe there's more to this news story!!!” I agree!


Anonymous said...

I once returned from a fishing trip in Mexico with a group of friends. Upon arrival at Houston Intercontinental my friend next to me started acting like a fool and said, "That dog would have to shove his head up my ass to find my stash." I must say he was drunk. I immediately told him to shut up and even said to the customs official with the dog, "He's an idiot." I walked through. My ex-friend was escorted away. We didn't even wait for him. We just left the airport and he never spoke to me again. Good.

bob walsh said...

Many many years ago my Uncle Paul and Aunt Cleo were coming back with their two young children from a brief trip into Mexico. The youngest one thought it would be amusing to make a remark to one of the customs guys about the fire works stashed in the spare tired. There were in fact no fire works, or any other contraband, in the vehicle which of course customs determined after they basically disassembled the car. My aunt and uncle were not amused and expressed their lack of amusement very sternly AFTER clearing the customs station of course. Customs people have a limited sense of humor.