Two Melbourne mates accused of possessing cocaine in Bali have given evidence in each other’s trials.
David Van Iersal told a Denpasar court the night of their July arrest at Canggu’s ‘Lost City’ nightclub – where he worked as a manager – friend Will Cabantog had followed him into his office to get “free drink cards”.
“I was moving around the office doing different things and he said to me, ‘would you like one?’ and I look up and it was on the table,” Van Iersal said, referring to cocaine that Cabantog had placed on his desk.
“I went ‘okay’.”
Van Iersal claimed it was the first time he’d used the drug in Bali.
“It was there, I’d been at work for 15 hours so it happened naturally, and because it was there I said yes,” the 38-year-old said.
But the former Melbourne nightclub owner said it was the exact scenario he’d been trying to avoid.
“I’ve had a problem in Australia – that’s one of the main reasons I came to Bali, was to get away from it,” he said.
“I had some bad luck last year with business and a relationship and obviously I was going out too much.”
Cabantog, also a former high-flyer of Melbourne’s nightclub scene, told the court he’d bought the cocaine at popular Canggu bar ‘Old Man’s’ the night before the pair’s arrest.
The 36-year-old said he used the drug to curb his depression and offered “a line” to Van Iersal because they’d “previously done it” in Australia.
During a raid on the Lost City nightclub, police allege they found Cabantog with 1.12 grams of cocaine in his pants pocket as well as an electronic scale and two small empty bags inside his scooter’s storage compartment.
Both men later returned positive urine tests for the drug.
They’re each facing up to 12 years behind bars, with their trials to resume next week.