Another Heroin ‘Mule’ Caught at Airport

DENPASAR

A Philippines woman faces a possible death sentence after being caught trying to smuggle 2.4 kilograms of heroin through Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday.

Carolina Sarmiento Bautista, 41, was arrested after customs officers searched her luggage and found the drugs, worth an estimated Rp7 billion (US$770,000) on the street. She has been charged under article 113 of the 2009 law on narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of death.

Ngurah Rai’s customs chief, Bambang Wahyudi, said Bautista arrived at 7.30am on Monday on an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur and officers searched her luggage after she appeared nervous as her bags went through the x-ray machine. The heroin was found taped beneath the liner in one of the bags.

Wahyudi said Bautista told customs officers an Indian man she met while on holiday in Kuala Lumpur had paid her $1,000 (Rp9.05 million) to take the heroin to Jakarta via Bali.

The arrest is the latest in a series of smuggling attempts by drug mules foiled by Bali airport authorities. They have been linked by officials to syndicates operating out of Iran and Malaysia.

Last month a Denpasar court sentenced eight Iranian men to life in prison for attempting to smuggle 4.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine pills into Bali in December.

The most high-profile heroin smuggling case is that of the Bali Nine, a group of Australians caught with 8.9 kilograms of the drug in 2005. Three of them are on death row in Kerobokan.

Two weeks ago an Australian citizen, New Zealand-born Angus McCaskill, an investment adviser originally known by his Maori name, Willie Rare, was arrested at the Pepito supermarket in Tuban carrying 3.85 grams of cocaine in five bags.

Australian Schapelle Corby is serving 20 years in Kerobokan for smuggling 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Bali.

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3 Responses to “Another Heroin ‘Mule’ Caught at Airport”

  1. Derek Says:

    After discovering the drug mules, the Narcotics Officers should replace the drugs with sugar or similar annd follow the mule to the designated meeting place or drop off point and bust the culprits who were in place awaiting the drugs arrival.

    That way they can continue on with their investigation and arrest others involved in the distribution process rather than simply busting the mules and calling it good.

    They need to get the ring leaders and higher-ups to effectively shut down their operations. Busting mules at the airport only stops a small percentage of the drugs from coming in and mules are a dime a dozen.

  2. warga bali Says:

    so agree with derek they have a chance to get the big guy but they lost it , what an ideot this woman just throw her life a way just like flush the toilet .

  3. Kay Danes Says:

    I agree with Derek too… I wish the police would do this but I guess they are hoping that through the interview process the mules will reveal everything they know to them anyway. Many do to cut a better deal for themselves. There will continue to be those willing/desperate to take incredible risk for those ‘dealers’ who aren’t prepared to take those same risks themselves.

    Law enforcement officers have a horrendous job!