British woman arrested in Indonesia over trafficking of drugs from China

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 3:36pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 8:05am


A British woman could face the death penalty in Indonesia after being arrested for allegedly smuggling crystal methamphetamine into the country from China, an official said yesterday.

The woman, identified by her initials A.R., was arrested last month at a hotel in the city of Surabaya, East Java province, with 1.47kg of the drug, the national narcotics agency said.

"Because she smuggled drugs weighing more than five grams, she could face the death penalty," agency spokesman Sumirat Dwiyanto said, declining to give further details about the woman, being held in Jakarta, or when she was likely to be charged.

A British embassy spokesman said: "We are aware of the arrest of a British national … We are providing consular assistance."

The case comes a few months after British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle US$2.4 million of cocaine into the resort island of Bali.

A.R., who lives in China, admitted after her arrest on April 29 that a Nigerian had asked her to take the drugs to Indonesia, the agency said, adding that the Nigerian was still at large.

The woman also identified two other people to whom she had been planning to pass the drugs in Surabaya and Jakarta, and they were also detained, the agency said. It did not say what their nationalities were.

Foreigners are often charged with drug offences in Indonesia, which has some of the world's toughest anti-narcotics laws.