British housewife facing death penalty after arrest on suspicion of trafficking cocaine in Bali
A BRITISH woman has been arrested for allegedly smuggling cocaine into the Indonesian island of Bali, and may face the death penalty under stiff anti-drug laws.
Customs officials detained the woman, identified as Lindsay June Sandiford, 55, on May 19 with almost five kg (11lbs) of cocaine after arriving at the airport in Denpasar on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok.
"We arrested the suspect after we found 4,791 grams of cocaine in her suitcase. She hid it in the lining of her suitcase," said Denpasar airport customs chief I Made Wijaya told reporters.
"We conducted an X-ray scan on the luggage, found a suspicious substance in it and then examined it," he said.
The cocaine has a street value of more than £1.6 million and Sandiford, who told officials she is a housewife, faces the death penalty for drug trafficking, Mr Wijaya said.
Indonesia enforces stiff penalties including life imprisonment and death for drug trafficking.
Two members of an Australian drug smuggling gang known as the "Bali Nine" who were arrested in 2005 are on death row, while seven others face lengthy jail terms.
Another Australian, Schapelle Corby, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for smuggling 4.1 kg of marijuana in 2005, recently had her term slashed by five years after a clemency appeal to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The 34-year-old is due to be released in September 2017.