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Jakarta Post

Customs officials foil cocaine smuggling attempt to Bali

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar, Bali   /   Mon, March 26, 2018   /   06:30 pm
Customs officials foil cocaine smuggling attempt to Bali Denpasar Police antidrug squad chief Comr. I Wayan Arta Ariawan, shows packets of cocaine seized from a suspected drug dealer in Denpasar, Bali, in this file photo. (JP/ Ni Komang Erviani)

A Bali resident was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle 2 kilograms of cocaine from overseas to the resort island. 

Personnel of the Customs and Excise Office arrested I Nyoman Arnaya, 47, a passenger from Qatar Airways, as he arrived at the airport on March 23 from Doha Qatar.

The personnel grew suspicious after scanning Arnaya’s belongings during an X-ray security check at the airport’s arrival terminal.

“Officers found four packs of cocaine hidden inside cardboard in four folded shirts,” head of Bali and West Nusa Tenggara Customs and Excise office Syarif Hidayat said in a press conference on Monday.

The officers also found 39 smaller packs of cocaine hidden inside small spaces in 39 foot files. The total weight of the cocaine was 2 kilograms worth Rp 5 billion (US$364,000), Syarif said.

Further investigation jointly conducted by the customs office and Bali Police found that Arnaya, a resident of Buleleng regency in Bali, was allegedly offered US$3,000 by a Filipino national named Bella to take the cocaine.

Arnaya told investigators he was told to go to Colombia to retrieve some things and bring it to Hong Kong. He was not allowed to open the bag by the person who allegedly ordered him.

Arnaya then departed to Colombia, where he met a man identified only as Mr. Don. He received a bag and 400,000 pesos (US$144). He said Mr. Don had asked him to wait for Bella to buy him the ticket to Hong Kong. However, as Arnaya did not hear about nor receive a ticket from Bella, he then decided to go home to Bali with the bag from Mr. Don.

Syarif said a laboratory test revealed that the substance found was cocaine.

“We urge people to be more alert while traveling, at home or abroad. Don’t accept any baggage from unknown people," Syarif warned. 

Arnaya could be charged under the 2009 law on drugs, which carries a maximum sentence of death penalty.