Yes there was a similar case back in 1990. Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith were arrested in July 1990 for attempting to smuggle 32 kg of heroin from Thailand to Amsterdam. They both went to Thailand for a holiday, and a British man (in movie he was Austrailian) offered to pay their way. (Not sure if they both were with him as they were in the movie.) in the real story, Patricia's parents were not aware that she had left the country, and believed her to be in Scotland which is similar to the movie were Kate Beckisales charaters parents thought she went to Hawaii. In the real case at the Bangkok International Airport their baggage was searched, and the drugs discovered. (Not sure if they were set up to be diversions for other "mules" as in the movie. ) Similar to the movie, throughout their trial, they maintained that the drugs had been planted on them, and that they had no knowledge that they were carrying anything illicit. However in the real case evidence did point to Patricia as willfully commiting the crime and Karyn not guilty. The lawyer in the movie is reminisent of a real life awyer named Stephen Ronald Jakobi, who heard the case on the radio in his home town of Richmond and thought it was wrong and eventually took on the case, but only for Karyn Smith (who also didn't have any money at the time) as there was little evidence of her involvement. Eventually European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to call on the King of Thailand to pardon Karyn Smith. In Patricias case, due to her age, she could not be executed, as would have been normal under Thai law. Instead she was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. The case caused high profile media coverage and Cahill served only a little over 3 years and was released after pressure from the British authorities.