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Hakuna Matata?

Major African Link Emerging in Baliís Illegal Drug Trade

(10/28/2011) Further cementing Bali’s unwanted reputation as a major gateway in the international drug trade, police and customs officials have arrested two South African nationals  trying to smuggle Rp. 13.6 billion (US$1.5 million) in methamphetamine into Indonesia. Arrested separately were Brett Theo Savage (44) and Kedibone Sheilla Motsweneng (38), who flew in on different Singapore Airlines flights over several days, both with itineraries that originated in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Savage was caught on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, with 2.993 kilograms of the illicit drug concealed in the lining of his suitcase. Meanwhile, Motsweneng was arrested on Sunday, October 23, 2011, using the same modus operandi with 2.458 kilograms of methamphetamine in her luggage.

The apprehension of the two and their subsequent interrogation by police have led to the further arrest of two men and a woman who police believe were the recipients of the illegal drug haul.

The arrests highlight a growing link between illegal drugs shipped from the African continent to Bali. In September a South African woman was found with 1.05 kilograms of methamphetamines strapped to her body. Also in September, a Ugandan woman died in a Kuta hotel after the 1.119 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in her intestines leaked causing a massively fatal overdose.

Police also arrested three Indonesian nationals on October 10, 2011 for attempting to smuggle 3.775 kg of methamphetamine into Bali from Kenya.

A July arrest at the Bali airport saw another Ugandan, Ronald Semanda (38), get caught with 1.1 kilograms of the drug concealed in his digestive tract.

Out of Africa 

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, a young Danish woman, Tina Rasmussen, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for smuggling 218 grams of hashish into Bali.

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