A Brazilian national was arrested upon arriving at the Bali airport last week after authorities caught him with 9.1 grams of marijuana in his possession.
He confessed that he bought the buds in Thailand, where weed has been decriminalized, but claimed not to know that Indonesia still enforces harsh penalties for drug possession.
In what can be described as a “bruh moment”, the 25-year-old Brazilian student, identified by his initials ASG, was arrested upon his arrival at the Ngurah Rai International Airport on Tuesday last week.
ASG flew to Indonesia on an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur at around 8pm. He was apprehended after airport authorities grew suspicious when his luggage passed through the X-ray machine.
After checking through his belongings, airport security found four packages labeled “SUPERMAO” (literally means ‘super drunk’ or ‘super high’ in Thai language) containing marijuana.
“Based on his confession, he obtained these illicit goods by purchasing them in Thailand because he lived in Thailand before and they are for his own consumption. The suspect did not know that in Indonesia, it is forbidden to bring in marijuana,” Ngurah Rai Airport Police Drug Enforcement Unit Chief I Kadek Darmawan said.
ASG has been charged with importing and possession of a Class I illegal narcotic, which includes marijuana, under Indonesia’s Narcotics Law. He may face up to 15 years behind bars and pay a fine of up to IDR10 billion (US$667,022).
While Thailand recently announced new rules regarding marijuana (Coconuts Bangkok has reported extensively on this subject here, here, and here), the plant is still categorically illegal in Indonesia.
There have, however, been talks among the government to at least review the use of marijuana for medical practices. For now, just don’t be stupid enough to bring it here, folks, and maybe make a habit of Googling the local laws of your destination prior to departure.
The Thai airport authority told Coconuts Bangkok last month that travelers may fly domestically with weed following its decriminalization. On the same day, Thailand’s health ministry issued a bulletin that traveling in or out of the country with any cannabis or hemp products was still illegal.
Coconuts Bangkok has reached out to Thailand’s airport authority for comment regarding ASG’s arrest in Bali.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include details on Thailand’s regulations on traveling with marijuana as well as some translation.