News is breaking this afternoon of an alleged drug bust in Bali involving a Russian woman that is oddly similar to Kiwi Antony de Malmanche’s story.
Magnaeva Aleksandra was allegedly busted in Bali with two kilograms of meth hidden in her two suitcases, reports New Zealand’s ONE news.
Aleksandra is reportedly chalking it up to an online dating scam, saying she is the victim, similar to de Malmanche’s story, and like the Kiwi, Aleksandra also reportedly flew into Bali from Hong Kong. De Malmanche claims he was set up by someone in South Africa through online dating while Aleksandra says she was meant to meet her boyfriend from South Africa in Bali.
Weird. Seems like too much a coincidence, yeah? Well authorities apparently think it’s striking too.
“Last time it was a New Zealander and they have the same motive,” Budi Harjanto, Bali’s Customs chief, told ONE News.
“Maybe the mafia is connected but I’m not sure the suspect is connected with New Zealand,” Harjanto said. However, he also said to ONE News that it’s too early for us to know that the cases are definitely related.
Indonesian investigators have stated to the media that they have been tracking de Malmanche for months and believe him to have been involved with an international drugs ring.
Today, Bali’s narcotics spokesman told ONE News that de Malmanche didn’t say he knew about the drugs when customs took him in and still says he’s innocent.
You don’t want to get convicted for drug trafficking in Indonesia. Getting handed that penalty means potentially facing the firing squad and President Joko Widodo just said on Tuesday that not offering clemency to current death row inmates is important “shock therapy.” This most recent arrest of Aleksandra probably only strengthens the new president’s resolve to deter further drug trafficking.
Photo by AFP
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