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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Boy 14 in Bali Drug Bust

Seven years ago this weekend, Schapelle Corby was arrested for drug possession. She's always maintained her innocence and I believe her - someone was supposed to take the drugs out of her boogie board bag en route to Bali, but for some reason it didn't happen and she paid the price of 20 years in a filthy third world jail. And she's still living in hell every day.

It's reasonable to assume that her terrible ordeal and the Bali bombings would be warning enough to all Australians coming to Bali - that special place that Aussies can't keep away from. But for one Aussie couple, their school holiday suddenly turned into every parent's nightmare.

On Tuesday a 14 year old boy and his 13 year old best mate went into a shop for a foot massage. A witness said he saw 4 policemen in plain clothes outside the shop and another two under-cover officers close to the beach where the boy is alleged to have bought 6.9 grams of marijuana for $25. When the boys came out of the shop, police led the 14 year old away. The boy told police he bought the drugs from a man who told him he hadn't eaten all day and needed money.

Bali psychiatrist Dr Danny Thong, who also treated Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine visited the boy at the request of his lawyers. He said the boy admitted using marijuana occasionally over the past two years but only in the company of friends and never alone, so he would classify him as a light user.

But that's not the end of the story. On the streets of Bali you can find any drug you like and tourists, especially Australians, are the drug dealers prime targets. Apparently you don't need to go looking for drugs, they are pushed onto you. There's a strong rumour circulating that Indonesian police are going undercover to catch people, even pretending to be drug sellers, so there's a chance that this boy was set up. One of his school friends said he is definitely not "street smart" and would be "dumb enough to do something like this."

He said he was approached by a Balinese man who said he was starving and begged him to buy $25 worth of cannabis so he could eat. Expats who live in Bali are aware of the problem and say dealers actually wait at the Jetstar airport carousels and target new Aussie arrivals.

So to all the slow learners out there who still insist on holidaying in Bali - don't go there!