Australian smuggles 1 kg hashish
Australian national Edward Norman Myatt made a startling confession during the court session on Thursday. The 54-year-old hairdresser claimed that the 1,103 grams of hashish he tried to smuggle into the island was intended for personal use.
“All the hashish I would use for my personal consumption, so I would still be able to use hashish while in Indonesia,” he said to the panel of judges led by Gunawan Tri Budiono.
Myatt confessed that he had been a drug addict since he was 16 years old and that he could consume up to 10 grams of hashish per day.
Curiously, the panel of judges did not try to find out why an addict needed to hoard a large supply of hashish sufficient to last him more than 100 days, when he could find dealers here in Bali without risking the possibility of being caught smuggling drugs. Myatt revealed that he had visited the island repeatedly since 2005 and as a drug addict he had surely gained enough knowledge about the local drug scene to secure himself a steady dealer.
Furthermore, the judges also didn’t question why a drug addict would use a sophisticated method of smuggling. The hashish was placed into 72 tiny capsules that the defendant swallowed before boarding the flight that would take him from India to Bali, making him the first Australian ever arrested in Bali for “body packing”, the practice of smuggling illegal contraband by swallowing it.
Myatt disclosed that he bought the capsules from a person in India and admitted that he was afraid of the grave consequences if one of those capsules had ruptured inside his body.
He convinced the judges that he had experienced paranoid episodes, psychological imbalances and sleep difficulties that forced him to seek help from the prison’s physician. He attributed those conditions to the fact that during his detention over the last three months he had not used hashish. Myatt also used the session to apologize to the people of Indonesia for his wrongdoing.
“I love Indonesia very much and I feel that I have an incorrect understanding of the law of this country.”
Public prosecutor Gusti Putu Atmaja said that Myatt’s confession and remorse were a sign that the defendant was cooperative toward the court proceedings.
“I think that he is being cooperative, admitting his guilt in using drugs because of his addiction. Yet, it doesn’t erase the fact that he has illegally imported prohibited contraband,” he said.
His cooperation was in stark contrast with the attitude he displayed in the days following his arrest. He once tried to escape by jumping out of the car taking him to hospital for medical evaluation. He also refused to volunteer any information to the police investigators for days.
Myatt was arrested late February by customs and excise officials at Ngurah Rai International Airport several minutes after he disembarked from the flight that brought him from India to Bali via Bangkok. It took three days for the officials to “stimulate” Myatt’s body to discharge all the 72 hashish-filled capsules.
The prosecutor had in the previous court session indicted Myatt with violating Article 113 of Law No. 35/2009 on Narcotics, which carries a maximum penalty or the death sentence.