Frank Zeidler, a German national who was allegedly caught smuggling 2.1 kilograms of hashish into Bali inside his luggage, could be facing well over a decade in prison after the prosecutor in his case demanded that he be sentenced to 15 years on Monday.
The 56-year-old was arrested in Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in December after customs officers grew suspicious of his luggage during a security check. It prompted them to take Zeidler to an examination room together with his suitcase.
“Afterwards, the officers searched and examined the contents of his bag and they found a black package wrapped in grey duct tape that was suspected of containing hashish and was hidden inside the lining of the suitcase,” prosecutor Putriningsih said, as quoted by Tribun-Bali.
According to authorities, the package was then examined for narcotics and confirmed to contain hashish, a potent form of marijuana. Zeidler was then handed over to the police. Under Indonesia’s draconian drug laws, those found guilty of importing that amount of hashish could potentially be sentenced to the death penalty (Indonesia has executed convicts for marijuana trafficking in the past).
It certainly isn’t the first time that foreigners have been caught trying to bring drugs to Bali, despite the country’s reputation for having some of the world’s stiffest drug laws. In fact, there are dozens of traffickers on death row in Indonesia, including an American caught with crystal methamphetamine – known locally as shabu – and a cocaine-smuggling British grandmother.
Fortunately for Zeidler, prosecutors chose not to pursue the death penalty, but they asked the judge to not only sentence him to 15 years in prison but also a fine of IDR 2 billion (USD 138,856). The next session in his trial is scheduled to take place next week.