Greek Arrested Amid Million-Dollar Drugs Haul

DENPASAR

Police have arrested a Greek man who allegedly tried to smuggle methamphetamine worth US$1.2 million into Bali, a customs official said.

Nikolaos Bouikidis, who could face the death penalty if convicted, was found to have 4.2 kilos of the drug hidden in the lining of his suitcase, Made Wijaya, head of the Ngurah Rai customs office, said on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old arrived in Bali on Monday on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha, via Singapore.

“At customs we detected suspicious objects in a grey suitcase belonging to the suspect. After an in-depth examination, we found two pieces of plastic objects in a crystal-shaped cavity in the wall of the suitcase,” Wijaya said.

Wijaya said Bouikidis told officers after his arrest that he usually worked as a bus driver. He is likely to be charged under Article 113 of the Narcotics Law.

“The perpetrator could receive the death penalty,” said Wijaya.

Airport personnel had received a tipoff that a passenger onboard the Qatar flight was carrying drugs.

Police confirmed the substance was methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “meth” or “ice” and known in Indonesia as shabu-shabu, and estimated its worth at Rp10.5 billion ($1.2 million).

Customs officers suspected the drugs were from Turkey, based on Bouikidis’ travel records.

A French man was sentenced to life in prison in Jakarta last week for attempting to smuggle five kilos of methamphetamine into the country.

Two Australians are currently on death row for a 2005 attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilos of heroin into Australia from Bali.

Six other members of the so-called Bali Nine gang are serving life sentences. The only woman in the group received a 20-year sentence.

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