Tragedy of a 6-year-old cocaine 'orphan' called Kitty

‘Hello, I’m Kitty. You know just as in ‘Hello Kitty’ says girl whose parents have been taken away from her for ever it seems.

The drug busts in Bali are hitting headlines around the world. A recent one involving several Britons is hitting all the UK Press and elsewhere. These stories can be emotive. Even ITN abandoned its schedule to cover Aung San Suu Kyi coming out of Burma and flew here to Bali instead. In the middle of this mess is an innocent 6-year-old girl whose parents face, if not execution, a life sentence. Its a mess. Its a tragedy. And it will cause outrage despite the parents claims of a fit-up. This story I put out from Bali is running now in most UK newspapers.

 Exclusive from Andrew Drummond, Bali May 29 2012

This is 6-yr-old Kitty Pender. I cannot identify her but can say she is very pretty and totally confused. For Kitty is an innocent abroad and stands to become an orphan of cocaine. Four days ago she saw police come to take her parents away. She does not know they may never come back.

Kitty is oblivious to the fact that her mum and dad are now under lock and key and face execution for trafficking in cocaine on the tropical island of Bali.

How the Sun ran with it – Pictured above is Kitty’s mum, Rachel Dougall

When I tracked her down she said through a window of the family villa: “Hello I’m Kitty, you know just like ‘Hello Kitty’ the Japanese cartoon cat.

Sweet and cheerful Kitty has just turned six. Her birthday was on May 24th. She was going to have a party on May 26th, but on May 25th police arrested her father Julian Anthony Ponder, 49, and her mother Rachel Dougall, as part of a group of Britons importing cocaine through the island’s Denpasar airport.

They are the British couple for whom Briton Lindsay Sandiford was allegedly carrying 4.79 kilos of cocaine on a Thai airways flight to Bali from Bangkok. Ever since the arrest she has been left alone with the maid , Dayu Ariani,33, and her husband gardener Ketut Suranchana, who yesterday  appealed  for Kitty’s grandparents to come and look after her.

Kitty lives in a luxury villa at the base of Bali’s volcanoes, an hour’s drive north of Denpasar. There is a pool, playhouse, a room stocked with her mums fashionable shoes, a large pool and guesthouse, and of course Kitty’s own dolls house. But she has no playmates,  no longer goes to school, speaks only a little Indonesian, and not surprisingly looks confused.

Said Dayu: “We were totally shocked when the police came on the afternoon of the 25th.  They came with Mr. Julian and collected a lot of bags and left with the both mother and father. Another man who came to the house at the times was also arrested.”

“We have been looking after Kitty, who is a sweet little girl. But we have had to pretend everything is okay. But it’s not. She thinks her grandmother and grandfather are coming to see her. She thinks her parents are coming home. We cannot tell her the truth.

“Nobody has contacted us and told us what to do. A neighbor has given us some money to help support Kitty, but just 500,000 rupiah (£40) and it will not last long.

“Nobody from the authorities has taken any steps to look after the girl and we do not think the British Embassy know.”

Added Ketut Suranchana. We have been looking after the family since they moved here. We know nothing about the family except they are English. There are no family pictures anywhere. No letters from family, nothing with any address on. Kitty does not know where she is from in England.”

Kitty no longer goes to a local school for international children called ‘The Sunrise School’ because the driver has not come to pick her up for three days.  The Toyota Rush 4X4 belonging to her father has been seized along with the massive cocaine haul worth £1.62 million.

Her father was in the car at the time police say. Police trailed the car around hotels in Kuta Beach, Bali, to other locations in East Bali, two hours drive from Denpasar and they also seized another Britain, Paul Beales and an Indian national.

Of the initial haul the head of Bali’s Customs and Excise Agency monitoring division Made Wijaya said: “The main reason is because narcotics can massively endanger the young and, thus, whoever is caught with drugs should be severely punished.

“If three people can consume one gram of cocaine, then this operation has potentially saved up to 14,000 lives.” In subsequent seizures Bali Police have seized another 68 grams of cocaine and some 280 grams of Ecstasy.

As for Kitty’s mother Rachel Dougall, she, say the Balinese authorities, was the contact person for Lindsay Sandiford when she arrived with her haul. She is referred in police reports as RLD and was the person who ordered Sandiford on her arrival to go to the Kumala Hotel, then the Nusantara Hotel and finally to Dumah Buitan, East Bali.

By this time Sandiford had already confessed to police who were monitoring Julian Ponder, referred to in police reports by the initials JAP. Ponder was arrested with the cocaine in his possession in his Toyota Rush and the police finally caught up with Rachel, referred to by police as RLD at the family villa set among green paddy fields in Belalang Village,  in the Tabanan District, north of the island’s capital.

Kitty parents’ fate was sealed with the discovery inside Rachel’s room of a pack of Marlboro Light cigarettes which contained 48 grams of cocaine and another pack in Julian’s room containing 20 grams of cocaine.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have now been informed of Kitty’s plight.

Kitty in The Sun

29 thoughts on “Tragedy of a 6-year-old cocaine 'orphan' called Kitty

  1. Sorry, Andrew, not sure what the drift is here.
    The guy Ponder is a ……………………………………and we are meant to feel sorry now their greed has pitched them into a ditch????
    Hope they shoot the scum and charge the kid for the bullets.
    Sentimental enough for you?

  2. Andrew are you in Bali covering this story ? surely to God the British Embassy must know by now ? In this extreme case I was under the impression other Commonwealth Embassy's may be of some assistance ? and as for Westerby what part of 6 years old, child, orphan, innocent don't you get? The child should be removed as quickly as possible and taken back to the UK ASAP to be around loving family this isn't about her parents.

  3. yes – I am in Bali. John D. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have now acted on this and sent consular staff to the villa.I cannot held them responsible for anything as I am not sure that the Indonesian authorities even notified them of the last arrests. I have not seen any British officials at police hq, but I am sure they must have been there. At the moment as I am writing for newspapers so I have told hold back stuff for this site until after it hits, so to speak. I have a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old so it was perhaps a little more disturbing I guess. We are probably going to see a bit of a merry go round as in the Australian Bali Nine – now we have the Brit Bali 5. I think Westerby's gut reaction was 'how could people do this sort of thing' – sort of justifiable as an immediate gut reaction. But he is better ranting on TV I think on this one.

  4. Ranting? Sorry, I don't understand. The parents are career criminals.They import drugs for sale clandestinely for profit so that they may become wealthy. They have sufficient income to pay for servants. The child is not at risk. The British consulate and the international social services will provide for her and she will be returned to Britain. The parents will hopefully be sentenced to death according to Indo law unless of course they concede their guilt and cooperate with the Indo and British authorities. If they do they may spend a long time in prison but will eventually be released. The child will grow up and lead a life of her own. Whether she amounts to more than her parents remains to be seen but in truth who cares?
    Editing of my post did change the complexion somewhat but what the heck, eh? I note you are only too keen to break another person's rice bowl but presumably you are somewhat more phelgmatic about the consequences for his children who will doubtless be deprived accordingly. How do you spell hypocrisy Andrew? On one hand we have druggie scum placing their child in jeopardy and on the other we have a fraudster whom you have exposed whose children will now be the poorer.
    Frankly, you are losing your edge but I'm sure you know that. Feel free to censor, the truth is inconvenient I know.

  5. Very unusual for Westerby, normally he makes some sound comments. But you are right AD your blog is not the place for the comments he made. May I add though that Thaivisa, though the largst forum, is not unique in encouraging those sort of comments and posters. Ever
    looked at Subzero Teakdoor or Farangtalk

  6. Westerby. Two major differences.In this case two people are banged up, possibly for death sentence, probably for life. 2.They are not career criminals.Previously they ran antiques and property businesses. I do not share your view or lack of concern about this girl. Your statement that she should pay for the bullets is more suited, as I said to Thaivisa.

  7. Westerby what's going on? you're usually close to being spot on. I don't want to attack you but you are really off topic on this one this is about Kitty, not bullets.

    This is a CHILD a 6 year old innocent child, we can only hope that reporting such events will help her in the long run and get her back to the UK. As for the parents I really don't care what happens to them.

  8. Antiques and property businesses???
    Seriously Andrew, don't you think you're being just a tad naive here. If you believe that drivel then you certainly have lost your mojo.
    Also, my reference to the child was intentionally hyperbolic although I'm not normally that inclined but then nauseating sentimental claptrap does have that effect on me.
    They are two career crooks who have been caught bang to rights trading in contraband which they knew risked the death penalty. The child is collateral damage and of no consequence whatsoever to the Indo authorities.
    Frankly, this story is pretty mundane and only notable because of the bizarre choice of mule.
    Antiques restorer, indeed. Gotta laugh,eh.

  9. Its the intentional hyperbole and swamp culture which I am not so keen on westerby. Some of what you say may have truth in it – not exclusively – but you have done a Daily Mail style hatchet job.its the way you say it. This website should have better information than The Times and presented more honestly than the DM. Check the DM today for unattributed quotes on this story! That's my last word on yours on this. But I will take one comment each for and agin!

  10. Westerby your comments are very sad,Have you no compassion for the plight of an innocent child
    who through no fault of her own is caught up in
    this crap

  11. Westerby, you are not judge and jury and no-one including you, has all the evidence. AD is only reporting what happened. The only suppositions being made are from you. You say you' gotta laugh'. If that is the case do it on Farangtalk or Thaivisa, mate

  12. Westerby, is your real name Eric Broder? The evil bile you spout is worthy of Dirty Dog himself or one of his accolytes. You must have had some pretty bad experiences with drug related criminals to manage to be so heartless.
    As for Andrew losing his edge, first time we heard it. Id this getting personal or have you indeed a problem with drug dealers?

  13. Poor kid. I live in Bali about half the time and the Balinese are the most family oriented people I know. I find it hard to believe the cops left her there alone but perhaps they thought she was safe in the care of the maid and gardener. There are authorities in Indonesia which can take her into care and an orphanage but I have been to them and they are deeply depressing. Funnily enough you see no Hindu kids in the orphanages in Bali, the Balinese community look after their own.

  14. The parents, if guilty, are going to be away for 20 years (15 with remission of 5 maybe same as Schapelle Corby) unless they can convince the court that they were not conspiring to smuggle. Simple possession of a Class I narcotic is still good for 10 years in Denpasar District Court.
    Death sentences are rare for white foreigners unless they are convicted of conspiracy to smuggle but with 1.8kg hard to say. In any case Kitty will be nearly grown up by the time she spends time with her parents again.

  15. Please no more Westerby comments. Points have been made.And I should state there is no evidence yet that either Rachel Dougall or Julian Ponder have previous criminal records in the UK

  16. How absolutely tragic for this poor wee girl.
    The parents have not been charged as yet, so a kangeroo court is totally unnecessary, but this breaks your heart seeing this poor little innocent soul.
    What are the British Embassies's obligations to underage citizens in times like this?

  17. This is a very sad story and I feel very sorry for the girl.
    She has not chosen her parents and I am sad that their actions will affect her whole future life.
    She will be taken good care of by her grand parents in Britain and hopefully she will over time learn to live with the facts with parents who were executed or spend rest of their lives behind bars.

  18. I find this hard to swallow when all governments around the world make billions in the drug trade which kills millions, it's called the tabaco industry.
    I do not agree with the parents choices however for the child's sake, I hope the bullets are spared.


  19. Bali Nine sentences for comparison …. 8.4kg of heroin smuggling from Bali to Aus…..Lawrence: 20 years in prison; Chen, Czugaj, Nguyen, Norman, Rush and Stephens: Life imprisonment; Chan, Sukumaran: death. ……

  20. Hasanah

    Why are you assuming they are guilty? Are you the judge in this case and have seen all the evidence from both sides

  21. I imagine any normal person would 'lose it' that loves and cares for their child. Faced with perhaps never seeing her again, not knowing what is happening to her and then a life in a cess pit to look forward to. And made infinitely worse if you were in fact innocent and set up. Only those involved know the real deal.

  22. "Doctors have sedated her to calm her down after she kept screaming calling for her daughter. She hallucinated that her six-year-old daughter was with her in the prison," said Is Arifin, the chief prison hospital doctor. Very sad and if my contact is to be believed she is innocent.

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