Kerobokan: A Prime Resort for Long-Stay Aussies

Kerobokan: A Prime Resort for Long-Stay Aussies

By Novar Caine

The way things are going, the government may have to build a prison just for Australians. Kerobokan Jail, where the inmates are packed in like sardines, is filling up with them. It looks like there’s more on the way.

“It wasn’t mine, Guv,” was the proverbial plea we heard at the weekend when Sydney man Michael Sacatides was apprehended as he sought to make his way into the island. He may face the death penalty.

The 43-year-old kick-boxing instructor’s suitcase contained bags of psychotropic crystal methamphetamine – known as shabu-shabu in Indonesia or ice overseas – totalling 1.7 kilograms.

But it wasn’t his, you see. It wasn’t even his valise. No, the contemptible thing belonged to an Indian pal back in Bangkok, where he had flown in from on a budget flight. How he had missed the bulging drug packs in his borrowed bag is anyone’s guess. Perhaps, like our boys at customs, he needed the assistance of an x-ray scanner.

His line is going to go far with their honourables at the Denpasar District Court all right. Ignorance of the law is not only no defence; it’s also no defence to be ignorant of what you’re travelling with.

Cue our long-suffering Schlappers. The interrupted girl had a bale of marijuana in her boogieboard bag when she turned up in Bali in 2004 – 4.2 kilograms of the stuff. It also wasn’t hers, and she had no idea how it had got there. “I’m not guilty,” the beautician-in-waiting told the judges in Denpasar, shortly before they gave her 20 years in a stifling Kerobokan cell.

At least the Bali Nine had the decorum to own up to their horrendous 2005 crime. Three of them are on death row. They had been attempting to take 8.3 kilograms of heroin, strapped to their bodies, from Bali to Australia when they were picked up.

In July another dope was detained by police in Bali. A Maori who had moved to Australia and along with being naturalised changed his name to that of a Scot: Angus McCaskill. The 57-year-old had been living it up in Bali, where he spent most of his time at the equally dopey Bali glitter parties – and posted barefaced images of his substance-fuelled antics on Facebook, to the delight of news editors.

He had 3.58 grams of cocaine in five packets on his person, and said he had only been “trying” the opiate. With that much coke, it was quite a try.

Smaller Aussie fry, such as trade unionist Robert McJannett, have come and been let go, after short spells as guests of the state. But as we are seeing, there’s no end to the flow.

It is proof that the death penalty for drug trafficking in Indonesia is not what it’s ultimately designed to be: a deterrent. We don’t know the desperate circumstances that force people to become drug mules; but thoughts of the firing squad are not on their mind as they’re carrying.

Equally, some Australians don’t appear off-put by the vast media storms in recent years over their drug-snared country-people in Bali. In distressed times, it seems, logic takes a holiday.

Where is the market in Bali for this frantic trafficking? It’s in its clubs and discotheques. Last week an Indonesian man who owns one of the biggest – and notoriously drug-riddled – was stopped by police at a café where officers also found ice that’s not used for cooling drinks. But he’s a man of high influence on this island, and was let off without even a warning – all a bit of a laugh, really.

It is no laughing matter, however, when lives are being destroyed because of narcotics peddled in Bali’s night scene, when users are dying and those who supply this illicit trade are put to death themselves.

Follow Novar @novarcaine on Twitter


  1. Sue Holder says:

    Can’t help yourselves can you? Any opportunity to propagate lies about Schapelle Corby and you go for it. Sick expat propaganda from the so-called Bali Times, as usual.

    Pity really that the rest of the world is catching up with TRUTH. Schapelle Corby is innocent, and the only people who refuse to accept it are those spoon fed by a hostile media, and expat creatures in Bali too busy sucking up to and feeding from the local establishment.

    Do you not imagine how you look to the real world?

    An innocent Schapelle Corby dying in a pit and vile Australians trying to damn her for local gratification. An ugly spectacle.

    We know the sort of justice dispensed in Indonesia: you pay for it. We know about the corruption all around Schapelle’s case, from hidden CCTV tapes, to refusal to test the drugs for origin, to a judge who had never acquitted anyone in 500 cases. The list could go on forever.

    These are truths which will emerge, and are emerging globally.

    Those who have discovered them see clearly what the likes of Novar Caine are all about.

    Is your mother proud of what you are doing by the way?

  2. donindevrock says:

    Well, Novar Caine, as far as the “Interrupted Girl” as you put her, goes!! I’ve got news for you Gunsmoke!! Did you know that those drugs.. “That bale of marijuana” as you put it, was never proven to be anywhere else other than at the Bali airport!! Did you know that NC??? The mj was never proven to have come from anywhere….it was only proven to be in BALI!!!!! PERIOD!! Do some research [if you are genuine] and stop the bullshit that you expat lot are known for [pacifiers]…….but, you won’t do that…will you, no, you gutless sucker!!
    btw, publish this comment…and those that follow in support of the “interupted girl”..and not the bullshit propaganda you promote!!

  3. Jason says:

    Well Novar Caine. you have just proven Yourself to be an arrogant smartass little shit.

    Schapelle pleaded not guilty because beleive it or not the Drugs actualy were not hers. SCHAPELLE REQUIESTED TO HAVE HER LUGGAGE WIGHED AND TO HAVE THE MARIJUANA TESTED FOR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. You Prissy little worm. Now why don’t You do some research on her case and get Your facts You simpering little lowlife Coward.

    I hope You screw up, piss the bali police off and get thrown into Kerobokan prison Yourself. I have a good mind to grab You by the scruff of the neck and ram Your head into the wall.

  4. NevinEsk says:

    Alexander Downer the Foreign Minister at the time with Monica Attard on the ABC said ‘Look at the Bali end’. Howard then gagged him. It would have been a big embarrasment to Indonesia had the weed been tested and shown to be from Bali. Excellent reason for the judge to order the evidence be burned before it could be tested.

  5. Kay Danes says:

    “The way things are going, the government may have to build a prison just for Australians.”

    If that’s the case, then maybe we should be negotiating with Indonesia and not East Timor in regards to the off-shore refugee processing centre.

    But on a more serious note, Michael Sacatides case again highlights the need for us to look at this matter with fresh eyes.

    The authorities may not be able to prevent drug trafficking but given the excuse “I didn’t know it was in my bag” is now seemingly becoming popular… maybe the authorities need to overhaul the current check-in process.

    The interesting thing about the Corby case, since it was raised here, is that there have been a lot of theories as to how she moved 4.2kg of marijuana through three Australian airports but thus far, no concrete evidence to support any of the theories. I guess we’ll never know either way since she has no way of proving the drugs were not hers. And herein lies something of concern to many parents who’s children are travelling overseas more than they ever did.

    Thus raises the question “How do you protect yourself against becoming an accidental drug mule?”

    I would like to see procedures changed at Australian airports to have all passenger bags screened at ‘check-in’. That way they can catch the drug traffickers before they board any flights; and for those unsuspecting or accidental mules, if for some reason you do get to a foreign country and there are drugs in your bags… then you can at least show evidence to the court that they were clean when you handed them over to the airline carrier!

    Surely this change to procedure is worthy of some consideration.

  6. Lizzie Love says:

    I agree totally Kay. In Bali all bags are scanned as you enter the terminal and before you reach the ticket counter. Only travellers with tickets can even enter the airport. How about someone writes to the airline union?
    As for your mother being proud of you, Novar,I am certain she is. Your article is so balanced and on the money… coupled with wit… my goodness!
    To the others above… Schapelle was only a couple of sentences in a long article… you have totally missed the point… I could explain it to you but just can’t bring myself to expend the effort on people with such a narrow, negative, aggressive, non-productive focus.

  7. DJ Wolf says:

    Unfortunately Lizzie, people are upset when a legal and judicial system can let off Indonesians carrying narcotics – “But he’s a man of high influence on this island, and was let off without even a warning – all a bit of a laugh, really” – and then sentence a woman who they knew to be innocent to 20 years in prison. That isn’t funny.

    So YOU tell me. These are the facts. No one had ever imported marijuana into Indonesia for commercial purposes before Schapelle. Why? Because it’s cheaper in Indonesia than anywhere else in the world. 4Kg would get from $40,000 to $80,000 in Australia but only $2,000 in Bali. Secondly, the drugs scene in Indonesia is owned and controlled by the police and the ruling elite. There is no criminal competition and there is no way to sell foreign marijuana in Bali. Fact: No one has been caught importing marijuana from anywhere in Indonesia for profit since Schapelle’s arrest.

    This means that the crime Schapelle was tried for NEVER HAPPENS. They knew that regardless of where it came from she wasn’t going to smoke it and she wasn’t going to sell it. They destroyed and vetoed all analysis and measurement of the evidence and denied the Australian government the ability to investigate because they knew that any evidence would acquit Schapelle… that is an act of war.

    We aren’t aggressive, Lizzie. We are defensive.

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