Custom officials say they have arrested a South African woman for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1,050 grams of crystal methamphetamine through Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Nyolukana Nomakorinte Christabell, whom the officials suspect might be drug courier for an international syndicate, allegedly hid the drugs in her bra and underwear.
The 46-year-old arrived at Ngurah Rai airport on Saturday on board Qatar Airways QR 0638 flight from Doha via Singapore.
“We acted on information that our intelligence unit received. The suspect also displayed suspicious behavior,” customs office chief Made Wijaya said at a press conference this week.
After an X-ray examination of the woman’s luggage did not detect any drugs, Christabell was taken to an inspection room where women officials conducted a body search.
“[Christabell] tried to fool our officials by quickly pulling down both her outer garments and her underwear,” Wijaya added.
Upon further inspection, officials discovered a clear plastic package containing 745 grams of crystal meth in Christabell’s underwear and a second package of 305 grams of crystal meth hidden in her bra.
“The suspect then tried to bribe the officials, offering two US$100 bills, but the officials refused,” Wijaya said.
Using a test kit, officials confirmed that the plastic packages contained crystal meth.
Information provided by Christabell during interrogation led officials to another suspect, a South African woman identified by her initials, RAR.
“Upon her arrival in Bali, Christabell was supposed to hand over the package to RAR. We cannot release the full identity of the second suspect because we are still trying to develop the case,” Wijaya said.
Both suspects belonged to an international drug ring, he said, adding that Christabell had told interrogators that a couple in South Africa asked her to transport the crystal meth from Johannesburg to Bali.
“The couple gave her an advance of $850 and promised her a cash reward of $10,000 upon the completion of her task,” Wijaya added.
Christabell also said she was told to proceed directly from the airport to a pre-booked room at the Villa Sari Umalas and wait for further instruction.
She was also given an Indonesian SIM card for a cellular phone. “All [Christabell] had to do once she arrived in Bali was purchase phone credit for that number and wait for so on that number,” he said.
Christabell, who was constantly sobbing during the press conference, might be charged with violating Article 113 of the Law on Narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of death.