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Iranians Get Closer Scrutiny in Bali

Custom Official at Bali's Airport Confirms Iranian Visitors Likely to Undergo Closer Checks Following Rash of Narcotic Arrests.

(9/18/2010) Customs and excise officials working at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport have introduced special handling procedures for all Iranian passport holders following a rash of narcotic arrests involving Iranian nationals across Indonesia.

Quoted in the national news agency Antara, a Bali Customs Official, I Ketut Sumarta, said: "Since the case of sabu (Methamphetamine) smuggling committed by six Iranians and known as the 'Iran Connection,' the standard-operating-procedures for Iranian citizens have been tightened."

Sumarta's revelation of special attention for Iranian visitors was made during his testimony at the trial of Iranian Rouhollah Serish Abadi bin Samad (26) facing charges for narcotic smuggling before the Denpasar District Court. He confirmed that Iranian visitors are subject to intensive inspections with Custom's officers after clearing the immigration counter. He added, however, that not every Iranian is under suspicion, with officials referencing each arrival against a pre-set profile for suspicious characters.

Rouhollah Serish Abadi bin Samad (26) was apprehended on May 14, 2010, after disembarking Qatar 0638 carrying 1.047 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Samad's trial continues in Denpasar.

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