BALI – A French national faces the death penalty after allegedly attempting to smuggle three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in the lining of his suitcase through customs at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, police said.
Francois Jacques Giuliy, 48, was arrested at the airport after customs officers allegedly discovered two large bags of crystal meth lining the walls of his suitcase. He arrived in the country on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Abu Dhabi that had a layover in Kuala Lumpur. Investigators are working to determine the source and eventual destination of the drugs, Ngurah Rai customs chief Made Wijaya said in a press conference on Monday.
“We’re still questioning the suspect to reveal the origin of the crystal meth and where it is destined to be delivered, as well as his [possible] network in Indonesia,” Wijaya said.
A beaming Wijaya displayed the seized narcotics to the assembled crowd on Monday, holding up one of the large bags as Giuliy, dressed in an orange polo shirt marked “perpetrator” and lacking the requisite mask associated with drug busts, sat stone-faced at a table bearing his name. The bags weighed a combined 3,083 grams — well beyond the five-gram cutoff for a capital offense under Indonesia’s harsh drug laws.
“[The] crystal meth carried by the suspect is worth Rp 6.1 billion ($506,300), assuming that the price of each gram on the narcotics black market is worth Rp 2 million,” Wijaya said.
The estimate is in-line with prices listed by the black market aggregator havocscope.com, which tracks the local cost of a variety of goods sold on the global black market. According to the website, crystal meth fetches $203.80 per gram in Indonesia.
Giuliy is the second French national to be detained on drug charges in Bali since the start of the year. Police arrested 46-year-old Thierry Verchere on Jan. 9 for cocaine possession and distribution during a raid on a North Kuta, Badung district, Denpasar, home. Officers stormed the home of Evi Nugraheni after being informed of an alleged drug transaction going down at the Jalan Gunung Tangkuban Perahu residence. They discovered an undisclosed amount of marijuana and crystal meth at Evi’s home and were searching the building when Verchere allegedly walked in with a bag of cocaine.
Police allegedly seized 112 grams of cocaine from Verchere and arrested the man. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.
As the two men face the possibility of serving hard time at an Indonesian prison, another French national walked free on Monday after serving 14 years on drug charges. Forty-year-old Michael Blanc, who was sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole on Monday after receiving a substantial sentence cut by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2008 that reduced his life sentence to 20 years.
Blanc was arrested in Dec. of 1999 with 3.8 kilograms of hash concealed in scuba diving canisters. He will have to remain in Indonesia until July 21, 2017.