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Slow, or Just Plain Dopey?

Major Drug Busts at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport May Put 3 Men Ben Before a Firing Squad.

(11/20/2010) Heavy sentences for drug convictions from Denpasar courts including death penalties and life sentences are apparently doing little to deter Bali's growing popularity as a major gateway for narcotic traffickers.

On Sunday, November 14, 2010, Bali airport customs officials arrested a 35-year-old Japanese man, Murito Yuki, who arrived from Bangkok on Thai Airways with 13 packets of hashish weighing 5.9 kilogram concealed within his checked luggage.

Customs officers told the Jakarta Globe that the illicit street value of the drugs carried by the Yuki was equal to US$390,000.

Yuki revealed that he had purchased the hashish in India before bringing it to Bali via Bangkok. His eventual intention was to bring the drug to Melbourne, Australia.

Despondent at his grim future prospects, after his arrest Muki attempted unsuccessfully to grab a pistol from an official in order to kill himself.

Three days earlier, on Friday, November 12, 2010, a British man, 34-year-old Antonio Khan, was apprehended at the airport when he arrived on a Qatar Airways flight with 3.13 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in his luggage. Khan told the police he was merely acting as a courier, having been paid US$4,800 to deliver the drugs from Cameroon to Bali via Nairobi and Doha.

With information provided by Khan, Customs officials in cooperation with the Bali police later arrested an Indonesian man, Yan Zacharia Santoso, who was waiting for delivery of the methamphetamine valued at US$652,000.

All three men could now face the death penalty in Bali if the Balinese court decides to punish them to the full extent of Indonesia's tough anti-narcotics laws.