A young tourist could face the death penalty after she allegedly attempted to smuggle drugs into Bali, prompting a renewed warning to Australian travellers.
Brazilian national Manuela Vitoria de Araujo Farias, 19, claims she was tricked by a gang after three kilograms of cocaine were allegedly found in her luggage when she arrived on the popular Indonesian island last month.
Bali’s firing squad could execute her if she is convicted of trafficking under Indonesia’s strict anti-drug laws.
She was arrested at Bali International Airport on January 27, just days after an West Australian surfing and diving instructor who smuggled drugs hidden in his anus into Indonesia narrowly avoided the death penalty.
Jeffrey Welton, 52, was arrested at the same Bali airport last September after he was found smuggling 8g of heroin and 0.34g of meth.
Manuela Vitoria de Araujo Farias could face the death penalty if convicted of drug smuggling
He was recently sentenced to eight months in a rehabilitation facility after a judge ruled he was an addict rather than a drug trafficker.
Farias’ lawyer claims her client was tricked into cooperating after a gang who hired her told
Farias claims she only visited the island after hearing of temples on where they pray for the sick, Bali Times reported.
The teen’s mother had recently suffered a stroke, and Farias says she was attempting to seek Buddhist prayers for a cure.
‘They said that she could pray in the temples to ask for her mother’s healing,’ the lawyer said.
The publication added police in Brazil have refused to discuss the status of the investigation into the alleged criminals that gave Farias the drugs.
Thousands of Australians have flocked to Bali since the holiday island’s international borders reopened in March 2022 for the first time in two years.
Around 1.23 million Australians visited Bali in 2019 before international borders shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Manuela Vitoria de Araujo Farias (middle) was arrested upon arrival in Bali last month after three kilograms of cocaine were allegedly found in her luggage
The death penalty exists for many crimes in Indonesia including drug smuggling, according to Australian government website Smart Traveller.
Drug possession and banned activities such as smoking in a public place and gambling also can result in jail time.
‘Penalties for drug offences include heavy fines, long prison sentences and the death penalty. Police target tourist destinations,’ the website states.
‘You may face heavy fines or jail for possessing even small amounts of drugs, including marijuana.
Cannabis-based products such as cannabis oil, hemp, CBD, THC, hash and edibles are also banned in Indonesia, including for medicinal purposes.
‘A medical prescription does not make it legal. If you take such products to Indonesia or purchase or use them in Indonesia, you can be arrested and face imprisonment, fines, deportation or the death penalty,’ Smart Traveller warns.
‘Police target illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia. Police often target popular places and venues in Bali and Jakarta.’
Travellers are also warned check with a doctor or the Indonesian embassy, before taking any prescription medications including sleeping pills into the country as many psychotropic medications and painkillers are banned and could be confiscated upon arrival.
‘Make sure you carry a prescription that covers the quantity of medication you’re taking with you,’
Smoking is banned in many public areas in Bali and could lead to imprisonment and a fine.
Gambling is also illegal in Indonesia and could result in a stint behind bars.
Brazilian teen Manuela Vitoria de Araujo Farias claimed she was tricked by a gang after cocaine was allegedly found in her luggage
West Australian surfing and diving instructor Jeffrey Welton (pictured) narrowly avoided the death penalty in Bali after heroin and methamphetamine were found in his luggage
Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in Indonesia in 2015 as the convicted ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine drug smugglers.
The nine Australians were arrested trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin to Australia on a flight out of Bali’s airport in 2005.
Of the remaining seven only one, Renae Lawrence, has been released from jail while another Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen died in prison of cancer.
In October 2004, Australian Schapelle Corby became a household name when the then 27-year-old beauty student was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport with 4.2kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag, a crime she has always denied committing.
Seven months later, the world watched on as Corby famously broke down in the courtroom while being sentenced to 20 years prison.
Aussie travellers flocking to the Indonesian island have been warned to read on on what they can and can’t to in Bali (stock image of travellers)
Convicted Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in Indonesia in 2015
After a series of sentence reductions, Corby was released on parole in February 2014 after nine years behind bars.
After three years living in Bali, she was deported back to Australia in 2017 and is now a social media influencer on the Gold Coast.
Corby posted a recent video with advice for Aussie travellers heading to Bali.
‘If you’re going to travel, make sure you keep your bags locked,’ she warned.
‘Remember my name… Corby… and don’t drink too much.’
The sentencing of Australian Schapelle Corby was televised worldwide in 2005
What Australians can can’t do in Bali
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty.
You may face heavy fines or jail for possessing even small amounts of drugs, including marijuana. Cannabis-based products such as cannabis oil, hemp, CBD, THC, hash and edibles remain illegal in Indonesia, including for medicinal purposes. A medical prescription does not make it legal. If you take such products to Indonesia or purchase or use them in Indonesia, you can be arrested and face imprisonment, fines, deportation or the death penalty.
Some prescription medications that are available in Australia are illegal in Indonesia.
Magic mushrooms are illegal. Indonesian police work to prevent their distribution.
Police target illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia. Police often target popular places and venues in Bali and Jakarta.
The death penalty exists for many crimes in Indonesia.
Under Indonesian law, you must always carry identification such as an Australian passport or a Resident’s Stay Permit
Gambling is illegal.
Smoking or selling cigarettes and tobacco in public places like tourist attractions, hospitals, temples, and public transport is strictly prohibited
It’s sometimes illegal to take photographs in Indonesia. Obey signs banning photography. If in doubt, get advice from local officials