Oct 06 2011

Australian minor arrested for drugs in Bali. Yes, they are illegal here.

Published by at 7:36 pm under Health & safety


This afternoon as the first day of the Ubud Writer and Reader Festival got underway, news broke of a 14-year-old Australian boy arrested in Bali for drugs possession.

Silly looking drinks are legal. Drugs are not.

Silly looking drinks are legal. Drugs are not.

According to reports, the boy was arrested on Tuesday in possession of a few grams of marijuana that he’d allegedly purchased from a street dealer for 250,000 rupiah (around A$30).

Apparently in Legian, Bali on a holiday with family and friends, he’s now in lockup in Denpasar facing (in theory) a maximum sentance of 12 years in jail* (see update 1 below). There is no separate prison for minors in Bali.

While drugs may be freely available on the street in tourist areas such as Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, visitors should be under no misapprehension that they are legal. They are not.

Indonesia has, even by Southeast Asian standards, severe drug laws and it is not at all uncommon for someone to sell you drugs then subsequently dob you in to the police. Police busting private parties are likewise not uncommon and the regimen of entrapment you may be used to in your home country is probably quite different in Indonesia.

So while we hope the above situation is brought to a very swift solution (sent home with a warning) we’ll just take a moment to say, as we have in the past elsewhere, don’t do drugs in Indonesia.

It’s simple really.

If you’re offered drugs on the street, walk away and enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Update 1
This story in the Sydney Morning Herald quotes the boy’s Indonesian lawyer as saying he could face a maximum penalty of 6 years rather than 12 as that is the max-allowed sentance under juvenile provisions.

Update 2
The Sydney Morning Herald has an exclusive claiming a witness saying it was a police sting, with plain clothed police waiting outside the massage place for hours. It all sounds very odd and certainly overkill for a minor with a very small amount of pot on them.

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One response so far

One Response to “Australian minor arrested for drugs in Bali. Yes, they are illegal here.”

  1. Rufuson 09 Oct 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Absolutely no sympathy for this boy.

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