JAKARTA - Bali Customs and Excise officers arrested a German national at Ngurah Rai International Airport on Friday for allegedly attempting to smuggle 239 grams of cocaine into the country.
Hans Peter Naumann was apprehended as he arrived from Bangkok. It is believed that the 48-year-old, who flew in on an AirAsia flight, was planning to deliver the drugs to someone in Bali for US$5,000 (S$6,372.70).
Acting airport customs and excise chief Djarot Utomo told media on Saturday that the suspect had been targeted by officers. "Based on our information and technology system, we identified Peter as a suspect. Therefore, we watched him when he arrived at the airport," he said.
Once Naumann arrived at the airport, he rushed into a men's room after passing through immigration. "He spent about an hour inside the restroom. It seems the suspect excreted some of the drugs from his stomach while he was in there," Djarot said.
He added that after emerging from the restroom, Naumann approached customs. Officials did not find anything suspicious when his luggage was put through an X-ray machine or when his luggage was manually searched.
Officials proceeded to check Naumann himself with an Ion-Scan machine that can detect narcotics. "The Ion-Scan machine indicated that the suspect had touched some drugs," he said.
After a body search, officials found 11 small plastic capsules containing 201 grams of cocaine in Naumann's underwear. "It seems as though the drugs were excreted in the toilet and placed in his underwear to deceive officers," Djarot said.
Customs officials also had Naumann X-rayed at a nearby hospital, which showed six more capsules in his stomach containing 38 grams of cocaine.
"Following the X-ray, we had the suspect undergo a medical procedure to excrete the drugs naturally," Djarot said, adding that the total haul amounted to 17 capsules containing 239 grams of cocaine.
Bali Police officers have charged Naumann under Article 113 of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics. If Naumann is found guilty, he could face the death penalty.
During Saturday's press conference, Naumann said the drugs did not belong to him.
He admitted that a person in Thailand had told him to carry the drugs into Bali. When asked about who owned the drugs, Naumann repeated, "someone in Thailand".
Naumann added that the drugs' owner had promised to pay him $5,000 once he delivered the illicit cargo in Bali.
Bali Police narcotics unit chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Joni Lay applauded the success of the customs officials in thwarting the smuggling attempt, but warned that international drug rings would continue to target Bali.
"They will make a number of attempts and employ various methods to smuggle drugs onto Bali," Joni said.