A British fugitive on Interpol’s most wanted list has been working in a Dublin café part owned by her Australian father – after escaping a drug rap in Thailand 18 years ago.
Lisa-Marie Smith was tracked down to Hippety’s Café in Dublin’s Temple Bar by the Irish Sun newspaper.
The paper reports that the now 38-year-old has been at the center of a global manhunt ever since she fled Thailand in 1996.
Smith was just 20 when she was arrested at Bangkok Airport with a backpack full of drugs.
The paper reports that she is a popular figure at the café and spends most of her time serving behind the counter.
A source told the Irish Sun: “It is extraordinary that she’s living here and running Hippetys. She’s so comfortable she uses her real name. It’s amazing she’s gone undetected.”
Irish police contacted Interpol after the Irish Sun alerted them to Smith’s presence in Dublin but have taken no action.
A police source said: “The Irish authorities do not have an extradition treaty with Thailand, and will not want to turn her over to a country with martial law.
“Perhaps she knows that, and that is why she feels safe where she is.”
Smith was pictured by Thai police holding a card bearing her name, nationality and arrest charges when seized at Bangkok Airport on February 13, 1996.
Officers found a massive haul of drugs in her rucksack including four kilograms of hash and 500 amphetamine pills.
Her insurance tycoon father, Terence, secretly arranged for Smith to be freed on about $70,000 bail, the first foreigner to be granted bail on such serious drug charges.
Smith, born in Melbourne and with dual British and Australian citizenship, was driven from prison in an Australian embassy car and then vanished.
The paper reports that she is believed to have been living in Dublin for the last 15 years.
The source explained: “She has had a string of temporary jobs. She worked at the club Howl at the Moon, and did part-time jobs. Lisa-Marie had no real relationships until recently.”
The paper adds that company records list Smiths’s father as one of two directors of Hippety’s. The other, Stephen Maguire, is believed to be Smith’s partner.
When the Irish Sun approached her, Smith refused to talk about her past.