Indonesian authorities arrest 2 Thai nationals for smuggling meth inside their stomachs

Crystal meth. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Crystal meth. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Customs officers at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport arrested two Thai nationals for attempting to smuggle a total of 1.08 kg of crystal methamphetamine inside their stomach.

The two men, who authorities have identified as Prakob Seetasang and Adison Phonlamat, allegedly swallowed the drugs to hide them from customs authorities, according to a report by Kumparan.

Ngurah Rai International Airport Customs’ chief, Himawan Indarjano, said they were arrested on May 13, after customs officers grew suspicious when they went through airport security.

Himawan said Seetasang and Phenlamat had their belongings promptly checked by authorities, followed by a body and X-ray scan at a local hospital; the latter showed that their digestive tracts contained suspicious foreign objects.

“After an attempt to remove those objects from their system, we found that they were narcotics that they’d hidden through swallowing,” Himawan said, as quoted in the Kumparan report.

The custom’s chief added that Prakob and Seetasang swallowed 49 and 51 plastic packages containing crystal methamphetamine –  known locally as shabu – respectively.

“This method is considered extreme, as it endangers the smuggler and is also difficult to detect,” Himawan said.

Police said the crystal meth was estimated to have a market value of IDR 1.48 billion (USD 102,818).

Authorities suspected that both Prakob and Seetasang may have previously smuggled drugs to Hong Kong, and said that they were paid around IDR 6.9 million (USD 479) for the attempt in Bali.

“Their handler provided them with a hotel and accommodation, and their passports show that they have been to Hong Kong and several other ASEAN countries. They may have [smuggled methamphetamine] with the same method,” Nyoman Sebudi, an official from the Bali Province Narcotics Agency (BNNP) said, as quoted by Kumparan.

Under Indonesia’s notoriously strict drug laws, the alleged drug smugglers face a maximum sentence of capital punishment and a maximum fine of IDR 10 billion (USD 694,755).

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that one of the suspects’ name was Radisson Phenlamat. His correct name is Adison Phonlamat. We apologize for the error. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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CITY: BALICATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: CRIME

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