DENPASAR, Indonesia: Five foreigners have been arrested in Bali for drug trafficking, authorities said Thursday, with a German and Peruvian possibly facing execution if convicted under Indonesia’s strict drug laws.
The accused smugglers — also including a Chinese, a Malaysian and a Briton — were arrested separately over the past two weeks, Bali police said.
The arrests come less than a month after the first member of the Bali Nine heroin-trafficking gang was released from a prison on the holiday island after serving 13 years.
The Australian gang’s accused ringleaders — Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan — were executed by firing squad in 2015, sparking a diplomatic row between Australia and Indonesia, which has some of the world’s stiffest drug laws.
Bali police said Thursday they arrested 44-year-old Peruvian Jorge Rafael Albornoz Gammara after he arrived at Ngurah Rai international airport from Dubai last week.
“Officers found 4.08 kilograms of cocaine that he was hiding inside the interior of his luggage,” head of local immigration office Untung Basuki told a press conference Thursday.
German Frank Zeidler, 56, en route from Bangkok, was later arrested after officers said they found 2.1 kilos of hashish inside his luggage — an amount that could also make it a death-penalty case.
Meanwhile, a 45-year-old British designer, who was not identified, was detained after he received a package from Thailand with some 31 grams of liquid marijuana poured into essential oil bottles.
On Saturday, 29-year-old Chinese national Cui Bao Lin was arrested at the airport with more than 200 ecstasy pills and over 160 grams of ketamine found in his bag, police said.
Malaysian Hamdi Izham Hakimi was also arrested the same day with a bag containing nearly 15 grams of marijuana and 11 ecstasy pills, according to authorities.
Foreigners are regularly caught trying to bring drugs into Bali, which draws millions of visitors annually.
There are dozens of traffickers on death row in Indonesia, including a cocaine-smuggling British grandmother, an American caught with crystal methamphetamine, and several West African inmates sentenced to death for drug crimes.
High-profile cases like that of Australian Schapelle Corby, who spent more than nine years behind bars for smuggling marijuana into Bali, have stoked concern that Indonesia is becoming a destination for trafficked drugs.
Corby was deported in 2017 after several years of parole.