A Ugandan woman found dead in a Kuta hotel room had over a kilo of crystal-methamphetamine wrapped in plastic inside her intestines.
The woman had arrived at the Hotel Rita on Jl Poppies I in Kuta at around 11pm on August 29. She did not show any identification when checking in.
The following morning hotel staff found her dead in her room, and called the police.
According to Kuta Police chief Gede Ganefo, officers were initially unable to find any form of identification in the room, but noticed that the woman – who was initially named “Mrs X” for the purpose of the investigation – appeared to have an unusually swollen abdomen. They therefore sent the body to Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar for Autopsy.
The Idul Fitri holidays meant that the autopsy was delayed until Saturday September 3. When it was conducted doctors discovered 82 capsules of crystal-methamphetamine in her digestive tract, with a gross weight of 1.12 kilograms. There were no signs of injury on the body, and it is suspected that the woman died after one of the capsules burst inside her body.
A subsequent second search of the Kuta hotel room revealed a passport and other documentation hidden in the bathroom.
From the passport, police have identified the woman as 41-year-old Magambe Pheobe Annet from Jakarta.
She had arrived in Bali on August 29 on a Qatar Airways flight. She had started her journey in Kenya on August 27, and had transited through Doha before continuing to Bali.
“This is all proved by immigration stamps and cards,” said Ganefo, adding that Annet had been issued with a 15-day single entry visa for Indonesia at the Indonesian consulate in the Ugandan capital, Kampala on August 3. Ugandans are not eligible for visas on arrival in Indonesia.
Ganefo said the case had been transferred to the Bali Police.
Bali Police spokesman IB Mede Sarjana said tests were being conducted on the drugs found inside Annet’s body.
“There were 82 capsules found inside the body of the victim. The contents of these alleged crystal-meth capsules are still being tested at the police forensic laboratory in Denpasar. We are still awaiting the results,” Sarjana said on Tuesday.
Head of Customs and Excise at Ngurah Rai International Airport Made Wijaya said he had been informed of the case, and was investigating suggestions of customs negligence in allowing Annet to pass through security after her arrival in Bali.
“We are currently investigating the case,” he told reporters in Kuta on Tuesday, adding that a team was currently looking into procedural affairs on the day Annet arrived at the airport.
Wijaya said that he would be willing to accept and to issue sanctions if negligence had taken place.
“If there were procedural errors, then of course there will be penalties. I am ready to accept sanctions if it turns out there was a mistake,” he said
Meanwhile, another African woman was arrested on Saturday after attempting to smuggle drugs through Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Nyolukana Nomakorinte Christabell, a 44-year-old South African citizen, was caught with 1.05 kilos of crystal-meth hidden in her underwear after arriving on another Qatar Airways flight from Dohan via Singapore.
“The suspect’s mode of smuggling was to hide the crystal-meth in her panties and bra,” Wijaya said.
He said that Christabell, who told officers that she normally worked as a housemaid, had arrived in Bali on Saturday evening.
“We were suspicious of the passenger who got off the Qatar Airways flight; her movements seemed unnatural” he said, adding that Christabell was given a full search after an X-ray suggested that she had items hidden inside her clothing.
“As she was a woman, the in-depth examination was performed by a female officer,” he said.
Wijaya said the examination revealed 745 grams of suspected crystal-meth hidden in the woman’s panties, and a further 305 grams in her bra.