The son of a New Zealand man caught trying to sneak 1.7kg of methamphetamine into Bali believes his father was involved in a dating scam.
Antony Glen de Malmanche, 52, was arrested after his flight from Hong Kong landed at Bali airport.
He was carrying 1.7kg of methamphetimine in a brown taped package in his backpack.
The amount he was carrying – which has an estimated street value of $1.2m – could see Malmanche face the death penalty.
His son Ashley said his father was “a bit of an internet dater”, and was worried about the trip, to meet a women he met online.
He told the New Zealand Herald: “She lives in South Africa or somewhere. She said she would pay for his trip. I said to him ‘look, this is dodgy, people don’t just do that kind of thing. There is no such thing as a free lunch’. But he went.”
The son said his father was “quite a gullible man”, and is worried he has been taken advantage of by criminals, who persuaded him to carry the drugs.
Ashley said the woman had sent over money for his father to get a passport and clothes – making Malmanche believe she was the real deal, and not part of a dating fraud.
Joni Lai, the deputy of Bali Provincial Police Drugs Squad said:
“It was controlled from the outside. He hasn’t said how much he’s paid. He only admitted to be given shopping money.”
Malmanche will spend three months in prison, before facing the death penalty if convicted.