I was a stupid young girl…and ended up an unwitting drug mule for a Manchester-based Asian crime lord. My arrest made headlines around the world and left me in Pakistan hell-hole prison. I hope God punishes the gangster boss who did this to me

I was a stupid young girl…and ended up an unwitting drug mule for a Manchester-based Asian crime lord. My arrest made headlines around the world and left me in Pakistan hell-hole prison. I hope God punishes the gangster boss who did this to me

For visitors to the daytime spa-cafe close to the town of Zlin in the Czech Republic, the waitress serving them coffee and snacks is polite, friendly and chatty.

Warmly greeting customers with a bubbly smile, when the cafe closes Tereza Hluskova goes to her second job as a waitress in a nearby restaurant before heading home to where her fiancé is waiting.

In many respects, it is a typical scene played out across the Czech Republic and small towns around the world.

But Tereza Hluskova is anything but ‘typical’.

Speaking from her home in the south of the country, she told MailOnline: ‘At first I thought I couldn’t work because everybody in the Czech Republic knows what I did.

Arrested in January 2018 in possession of 19 lbs (8.5kg) of heroin at Lahore's AIIama IqbaI International airport in Pakistan, Hluskova, who was then 22, had been heading to Ireland via Dubai

‘They know that I am the most known criminal from the Czech Republic.

‘But all people, all people in the world have done something wrong. They were not in jail but they did something wrong. Everybody has something.’

For Tereza that ‘something’ was being an international prostitute, a convicted drug smuggler and one of the Czech Republic’s most high profile criminals.

Arrested in January 2018 in possession of 19 lbs (8.5kg) of heroin at Lahore’s AIIama IqbaI International airport in Pakistan, Hluskova, who was then 22, had been heading to Ireland via Dubai.

Seized by customs officials, Hluskova said that she had gone to Pakistan to do ‘erotic model photos’ and that someone had put the narcotics into her luggage.

In a video released online, a Pakistani customs official is shown discovering the drugs hidden in the suitcase while Hluskova looks on. She is then seen putting her head in her hands. 

In 2019, she was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. But after a series of appeals she was released just four years later.

Now, happily settled into her new life with a doting footballer fiancé, she told MailOnline: ‘If you ask me if I did something wrong, of course I will say yes, I did something wrong and I know it.

‘But before, my life was horrible, terrible. First of all I was a bitch, I know it, I was drinking, I was doing drugs, I was sleeping around. 

In 2019, she was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. But after a series of appeals she was released just four years later (pictured here in 2019 after a court appearance in Pakistan)

Now, happily settled into her new life with a doting footballer fiancé, she told MailOnline: 'If you ask me if I did something wrong, of course I will say yes, I did something wrong and I know it' (pictured: Tereza and her partner)

Tereza pictured shortly after her release from prison in Pakistan in 2022

‘I was 19, 20 years old and I had fake hair, fake lips, fake nails, you know, everything was fake. I was going to clubs and was wearing nothing but a bra and a small skirt, so it was not good.

‘Becoming a prostitute, an escort, was very, very easy. I was working in a factory in the Czech Republic for very little money and it was very difficult.

After speaking to a friend who suggested escort work, tempted by the high earnings and foreign travel, Hluskova soon found herself in Belgium and Sweden where she said she earned ‘really big money but was sleeping with many, many men.’

Adopting the name Jennifer, she said she ‘learned to shut down emotions during intimate moments with clients’.

She said: ‘I felt almost nothing at all. Maybe the problem was that I drank a lot. A prostitute doesn’t enjoy sex, because in order to survive, she has to switch to robot mode and work. In Belgium my boss was a gypsy woman from the Czech Republic.

‘One day she said I would go to Pakistan. I knew I was going to do something wrong but I didn’t know it was going to be drugs. I was a stupid girl, I trusted strange people, they were not my friends, they were nobody.

‘When the police found drugs in my luggage, I was devastated. You know, I am not a criminal, never have been. It was just a mistake. When they gave me eight years and eight months, I couldn’t breath.’

Pakistan has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in the world.

Tereza said: 'I was 19, 20 years old and I had fake hair, fake lips, fake nails, you know, everything was fake. I was going to clubs and was wearing nothing but a bra and a small skirt, so it was not good' (pictured at that age)

Tereza said: 'Becoming a prostitute, an escort, was very, very easy. I was working in a factory in the Czech Republic for very little money and it was very difficult' (pictured around age 19)

Adopting the name Jennifer, she said she 'learned to shut down emotions during intimate moments with clients' (pictured around age 19)

According to Human Rights Watch, some jail cells designed for just three people hold as many as 15.

Prisoners are unable to access medicine and treatment for basic health needs and ‘lice, fleas, scabies and skin diseases are common.’

Last month, three prisoners died in one day due to ‘illness’ in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, the same prison Hluskova had been sentenced to spend over eight years behind bars.

She said: ‘When I first arrived I was terrified. Guards and prisoners were jealous of me because I am white. They made fun of me and were just simply cruel. I thought they were going to kill me.

‘They were taunting me, calling me names, and it was very difficult to talk and understand them as they could not speak English.

‘Thankfully there was a lady prisoner from Turkey who spoke English and she took care of me.’

Known to house more than four times its 4,000 prisoner capacity, violence inside the jail is rife.

In 2013, Amnesty International called for greater protection of prisoners after an inmate was beaten to death with bricks and iron bars.

But as a ‘foreigner’ Hluskova said that because she was European she escaped the violence.

She told MailOnline: ‘I saw a lot of violence against other prisoners. They were either beaten by guards or other inmates. But luckily no one physically attacked me. Foreigners were untouched.

‘I had many friends in jail, especially foreigners, but also guards. If you do what they want they will treat you well. I was there for four years, they never beat me, they never sexually assaulted me.

‘The guards knew that because I am European if they mistreated me I would report them to my embassy so they were afraid of that. They were beating Pakistani inmates, but for me they were afraid of Europe so they never beat me.

‘Of course, I saw them beating other prisoners, and fights would also break out over food and things, so sometimes I was afraid but for them, not for me. But yeah, it was not pleasant.’

After a series of appeals she was released in 2022 having served just four years of her sentence

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Tereza said: She said: 'When I first arrived I was terrified. Guards and prisoners were jealous of me because I am white. They made fun of me and were just simply cruel. I thought they were going to kill me' (pictured after a court appearance in 2019)

As a ‘foreigner’ Hluskova also escaped overcrowding in a small cell with just ‘two or three’ prisoners.

She said: ‘Pakistani ladies were living in big cells with around 50-70 people, but we foreigners had small cells about three-to-four meters, but just two or three inside.

‘The conditions were not better, they were the same. We had smaller cells but less of us inside. As for the food, it was tasty. But maybe that’s because I am not picky, I can eat whatever.

‘The worst thing was the temperature. Too hot in summer, I have a sun allergy so my whole body was raw and itching, and too cold in winter. It was like there was no spring and no autumn. Just very hot and very cold.

‘At times I thought I would freeze to death. I had a blanket but sometimes it was not enough. 

‘The first year was terrible. But then you become use to it. You have to. There is no other choice. You can’t go home, you have to stay there and obey them. But I am a strong and positive woman.’

Following her release in 2022, Hluskova returned to her family in the Czech Republic.

Despite the horror at finding out their daughter had been a prostitute and a drug mule, they welcomed her back with ‘open arms’.

As a 'foreigner' Hluskova said that because she was European she escaped the violence. She told MailOnline: 'I saw a lot of violence against other prisoners. They were either beaten by guards or other inmates. But luckily no one physically attacked me' (pictured here after her release from prison)

Following her release in 2022, Hluskova returned to her family in the Czech Republic. Despite the horror at finding out their daughter had been a prostitute and a drug mule, they welcomed her back with 'open arms' (pictured now)

Tereza said: 'They forgave me and we are very good. They know that all people make mistakes, this is life. They know I am not a bad person, I was just a stupid young girl'

Hluskova said: ‘At first they were devastated. But during my whole time in the courts and in prison, they were there for me, paying for lawyers, communicating with the Czech Embassy, and buying me food, clothes and even my tickets back home.

‘They forgave me and we are very good. They know that all people make mistakes, this is life. They know I am not a bad person, I was just a stupid young girl.

‘I realise it was my fault. Why should I blame someone else when I was the one, I was the bitch who wanted more money, more travel, everything? So, of course, it’s my mistake.

‘And perhaps if I hadn’t been arrested for being a smuggler I would now be dead. Perhaps one of my clients would’ve killed me or I would have overdosed on some drugs.

‘Now I am a normal girl, working, with a loving a partner and family, making good, clean money. I don’t need expensive things and holidays.

‘I’m a waitress and I love it. I like to talk to people, I like serving beer and making coffee and I like to give someone lunch and hear them tell me its delicious.

‘We all make mistakes but before people can judge you they have to know you.’

She added: ‘If there’s some danger for me from my past, what can I do? Nothing! The biggest boss was Pakistani but living in Manchester.

Tereza said: 'Now I am a normal girl, working, with a loving a partner and family, making good, clean money. I don't need expensive things and holidays'

I'm a waitress and I love it. I like to talk to people, I like serving beer and making coffee and I like to give someone lunch and hear them tell me its delicious. We all make mistakes but before people can judge you they have to know you,' she added

‘I heard from Pakistani police that Interpol is trying to find him but they don’t know his name and they don’t even have his picture so how will they find him? It’s impossible.

‘But if there is a God he is seeing all this. If there is a God he will punish him and he will punish him twenty times more than he punished me. I believe that because God knows who is wrong and who is right.

‘I’m not afraid of them as I took all burden for the crime myself. I don’t think they are trying to find me. They just want me to forget them so they can carry on doing business.

‘Should I hide in my house, should I hide in my bed and cry? No, it can’t be like this. If there will be some car and somebody shoots me, what can I do? I can’t be afraid all my life. I have to do enjoy my life.

‘Now I have my freedom back, I have my family, everything, I can’t be afraid.’

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Ed Wight

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