German and British men arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs into Indonesia

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smuggling drugs into Indonesia

A German and a Briton have been arrested in Indonesia on suspicion attempting to smuggle diazepam tablets, heroin, morphine and amphetamine into Bali last month.

UK national Adam Scott and German Siegfried Karl Achim Ruckel were paraded in front of reporters wearing Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuits and balaclavas on Thursday after being detained in January at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport.

Speaking at a press conference, Ngurah Rai Customs and Excise Office chief Himawan Indarjono said customs workers at the airport became suspicious of Scott, a computer analyst, after scanning his belongings during an X-ray check on 24 January.

He was found to be in possession of a plastic bottle containing 655 diazepam pills without having declared the drugs to customs officials.

While 48-year-old Scott presented a document that he said proved he was prescribed the tablets legitimately to relieve pain from a condition from which he was suffering, Indonesian police claim the prescription only accounted for 42 of the diazepam pills.

“We accused the suspect of violating the 1997 Psychotropic Law because he brought the diazepam pills without any prescription or permit,” Himawan said.

If convicted, Scott could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $22,000.

Ruckel, 56, was arrested at the same airport on 26 January on suspicion of being in possession of seven grams of heroin, 0.2 grams of amphetamine and 15.3 grams of morphine.

Referring to Ruckel, Bali Customs and Excise Office prosecution and investigation head Husni Syaiful said: “From the suitcase, we found one plastic package of heroin weighing 6.78 grams. It was hidden in a tissue package.

“The suspect was cooperative enough with our officers. During the search, he admitted to carrying other drugs in his underwear.”

The German national could face the death penalty and a fine of up to $730,000 if found guilty.

Convicts sentenced to death in Indonesia are executed by firing squad after being given the choice of standing or sitting while they are killed, and as to whether or not they have their eyes covered by a blindfold or hood, according to the Cornell Centre on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

Last month, Australia’s ABC News reported that Indonesian politicians had agreed to soften the country’s death penalty laws, proposing a 10-year stay on executions, after which the death penalty could be commuted to a prison term.

“The legislation in the draft penal code is a small step towards abolition,” said Ricky Gunawan, Director of Indonesia’s Community Legal Aid Institute.

“It’s a compromise between groups who are for and against the death penalty.”

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