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Frenchman arrested in Bali for cocaine possession

  • The Indonesian island of Bali is a recently alluring destination. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

DENPASAR, Indonesia: Indonesian police said Wednesday they have arrested a Frenchman for possession of cocaine with a street value of almost $50,000 on the resort island of Bali.

Thierry Verchere faces up to 20 years in jail after being caught in a raid on Thursday last week at a house in the Balinese capital Denpasar.

Police found plastic bags and capsules containing cocaine when they searched a bag that the 46-year-old was carrying, Denpasar police chief Djoko Hariutomo told reporters.

Officers uncovered around 112 grammes (four ounces) of the drug, with a street value of 560 million rupiah ($46,000), he said.

Verchere, who has been living in Bali for the past year, told police he bought the drug from an Iranian and it was for personal consumption, Hariutomo said.

Foreigners are regularly caught with drugs on Bali and a death sentence can be imposed on those found trying to smuggle drugs weighing more than five grammes into the popular holiday island.

However as Verchere faces a possession charge, he will not receive the death penalty.

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in January last year after cocaine with an estimated street value of $2.4 million was found in her suitcase as she arrived on a flight from Bangkok.

 
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