Why a Supermodel Ended Up in a Pakistani Jail
Ayyan Ali's trouble stems from a suitcase filled with half-a-million dollars
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2015 12:14 PM CDT
Ayyan Ali.   (World News Channel)

(Newser) – You'd expect to hear about a supermodel frequenting bars, not being behind them, but the latter is Ayyan Ali's current situation. The 23-year-old is a supermodel in Pakistan, and she's been jailed in the country since March 14 following her arrest at the Islamabad airport. The BBC reports she was carrying a suitcase that contained roughly $500,000, an amount hugely in excess of the $10,000 limit on cash being taken out of the country. A charge of money laundering followed; she's being held in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, bail was denied, and prosecutors say a conviction could bring her as many as 14 years in jail. The BBC reports that Ali says she had no idea the rule existed. And she didn't plan to take the money out of the country anyway, according to one of her lawyers.

The Guardian shares Khurram Latif Khosa's explanation: that the money was the result of a legal property sale, and that she hadn't checked in to her flight but was in the VIP lounge; he says she planned to meet her brother there, and that he was going to take the money to Karachi. He also reportedly said that the courts and media weren't treating her well. The BBC reports the media have been in a frenzy over whether she's being given preferential treatment, citing one report that referenced a prison-jammer-proof cellphone and a room with a TV. But the BBC's reporter says jail officials told him she's being treated in accordance with jail rules, and is held in a block with 10 other women.