LOMBOK: A Frenchman with nearly four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) of drugs has been arrested by Indonesian police, authorities said Monday, in a country with some of the world’s toughest narcotics sentences, including the death penalty.
Police said Felix Dorfin, 34, was carrying a false-bottomed suitcase filled with bags of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines when he was nabbed on September 21 at the airport on the holiday island of Lombok, next to Bali.
“Customs had a look at what he was carrying and after examining they found it was drugs,” said Yus Fadillah, head of the drugs unit at the West Nusa Tenggara police.
“The suspect ran but the officers caught him.”
It was not clear if prosecutors would seek the death penalty against him, if convicted.
His arrest comes two months after another Frenchman, Michael Blanc, left Indonesia following an 18-year-jail term and several years’ parole for trying smuggle drugs into Bali.
He had been arrested the day after Christmas in 1999 at the tropical island’s airport with 3.8 kilogrammes of hashish hidden inside scuba diving canisters.
He narrowly escaped the death penalty which has been handed to some other foreign drug traffickers in Indonesia — including two members of the notorious Bali Nine who were executed in 2015.
French drug smuggler Serge Atlaoui has been on death row since 2007.
High-profile cases like that of Australian national Schapelle Corby, who spent more than nine years behind bars for smuggling marijuana into Bali, have stoked concern that Indonesia is becoming a drug destination.
Corby was deported in 2017 after several years of parole.