Indonesia jails French drug smuggler for life
An Indonesian court sentenced a French national to life imprisonment for allegedly attempting to smuggle methamphetamine into the country, a court official said Tuesday.
Gerard Debetz, 54, was arrested in January after landing on an Emirates Airways flight from Dubai with five kilos (11 pounds) of the illegal drug, estimated to have a street value of 7.6 billion rupiah (843,600 dollars).
Customs officers at Jakarta airport found a suspicious package in the lining of the suitcase when it went through an X-Ray machine.
A few days after his arrest, police also caught an Iranian man, suspected of being the would-be recipient of the package.
"He was convicted of drug trafficking. The West Jakarta district court has given him life imprisonment in a trial on Thursday," the court official Ricar Soroindar told AFP.
Indonesia enforces stiff penalties, including life imprisonment and death, for drug trafficking.
Two Australians are currently on death row for a 2005 attempt to smuggle 8.3 kilogrammes of heroin into Australia from the resort island of Bali.
Six other members of the so-called Bali Nine gang are serving life sentences. The only woman in the group received a 20-year sentence.
© 2011 AFP