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Australian Man Busted with Drugs in Bali

43-Year-Old Australian Man Could Face Death Penalty After 1.7 Kilogram of Methamphetamine Found in Luggage at Bali Airport.

(10/5/2010) Bali police are interrogating a 43-year-old Australian, Michael Sacatides, who was arrested on Friday, October 1, 2010, at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport with 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in his luggage after disembarking an AirAsia flight from Bangkok.

Methamphetamine, known as Shabu Shabu in Indonesia and "ice" in Australia, is a "category one" narcotic in Indonesia. Possession of more than 1 kilogram of the substance is punishable by death before a firing squad.

The drugs were found in a concealed compartment of the Sacatides' luggage following an x-ray examination by customs officials.

The Australian, who works as a kick-boxing instructor, insists the drugs are not his and that he only borrowed the bag from an Indian man in order to carry clothes to Bali.

Sacatides has met with Australian consular officials and a lawyer in Bali while awaiting arraignment for a capital crime.

The street value of the drugs was put by Bali police at Rp. 3.4 billion (US$378,000).