Arrest of Foreigners in Bali Up 25% This Year

The number of foreigners arrested for committing crimes in Bali has risen 25 percent this year, most of it drug-related, and the numbers are climbing.

Police said on Sunday that from January through September, 43 foreign nationals had been arrested, mainly for drug offenses, compared with 31 for the same period last year.

“Narcotics-related crime dominates and it seems to be a continuing trend,” Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Hadiatmoko said.

The latest tourist to be arrested was Michael Sacatides, 43, an Australian national accused of attempting to smuggle 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine into the country on Oct. 1.

Sacatides is just the latest in a string of foreigners connected to the drug trade.

The case of Australian Schapelle Leigh Corby has generated endless attention. She was caught smuggling 4.2 kg of marijuana in 2005 that she claimed was planted in her luggage.

Corby has filed a request for clemency to the president, pleading to have her 20 years sentence reduced on the grounds she is suffering from mental illness.

But a justice official has said she shows no signs of mental illness.

Another high-profile narcotics case involves the so-called Bali Nine group. Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and Scott Anthony Rush from Australia have been sentenced to death for their role in smuggling 8.2 kg of heroin into the country. The results of a review of their case is still pending.

Police said a rise in theft cases included that of ancient sacred Hindu statues called pratima . A French national has been put on the police’s wanted list after authorities found 16 pratimas in a warehouse. He fled after the raid.

The operation followed the arrest of Italian Roberto Gamba, whom police say was caught with 144 of the statues.

“It is important that the police, immigration and tourism authorities be more vigilant,” Hadiatmoko said.

He urged Balinese to be careful about what foreigners they rented their properties to and ascertain what their intentions were.


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