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5 foreigners accused of selling drugs on Bali

Police officers escort foreign nationals arrested for selling drugs prior to a press conference at the regional police headquarters in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Friday, May 31, 2019. Police on the resort island have arrested an American, two Spaniards and two Russians for selling cocaine on the island. (AP Photo)

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities have arrested an American, two Spaniards and two Russians for selling cocaine and marijuana on Bali, police said Friday.

The three men and two women were paraded at a police news conference in the Bali provincial capital, Denpasar, days after being arrested.

They were arrested between May 20 and 24 in the tourist hotspot of Kuta, said Denpasar police chief Ruddi Setiawan.

He said the arrests began when police caught a 33-year-old Russian man, identified only as Nikita, arranging cocaine sales by phone to foreign tourists.

Police seized 20.18 grams (0.7 ounce) of cocaine and 44.14 grams (1.6 ounces) of marijuana from the group.

“We are still investigating how they got that cocaine and marijuana,” Setiawan said. “We believe they are part of an international syndicate and got the drugs from abroad.”

Police identified the 31-year-old American suspect as Ian. A Russian woman, 31, was identified as Maria and a Spanish woman, 33, as Laura. A 37-year-old Spanish man identified as Juan had operated a restaurant in Kerobokan near Denpasar for a long period of time, police said.

Indonesia has strict drug laws and dozens of convicted smugglers are on death row. Its last executions were in July 2016, when an Indonesian and three foreigners were shot by a firing squad.

An Indonesian court last week sentenced a Frenchman to death for smuggling ecstasy to Lombok, next to Bali, even though prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.

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