TONI O'LOUGHLIN -
July 5, 2010
Australian Angus McCaskill has been caught with cocaine in Bali and faces the maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.
AN AUSTRALIAN who has been living in Bali faces up to 12 years in prison after police allegedly caught him with 3.84 grams of cocaine.
Police presented Angus McCaskill, 57, a New Zealand-born Melbourne investment adviser, at a news conference yesterday, during which he covered his head to hide his face.
Mr McCaskill had been living in Seminyak, an upmarket district north of Kuta Beach, when police arrested him last Wednesday after allegedly receiving information from a local.
As he was led into the conference, Mr McCaskill told reporters he had made a ''silly mistake'' and told police he had used the drug for the first time the day before he was arrested.
''I'm very, very sorry,'' he said.
He told reporters he had been watching the World Cup and had drunk a lot. ''I was very, very drunk."
Police said they caught Mr McCaskill with six packets of cocaine in his wallet after they watched him walk into a supermarket in Tuban, near the international airport at the southern end of the island.
Police said they then took sniffer dogs to his villa but did not find any more drugs. They said a urine test confirmed that he had been using the drug.
Police said Mr McCaskill had been living on a tourist visa for several months at Bobo Villa, near the resort area Ku De Ta.
But the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he was a long-term resident of Bali. It said it was providing consular assistance to Mr McCaskill and his family, who live in New Zealand.
Mr McCaskill is being represented by a Balinese lawyer.
Police said they pursued Mr McCaskill after being contacted by a local resident.
Balinese police often act on tip-offs to make drug arrests. They also use undercover officers to monitor places where drugs are sold regularly, such as the Double Six area in Kuta.
If convicted, Mr McCaskill faces a prison term of between four and 12 years.
An Australian woman, Schapelle Corby, is serving a 20-year jail sentence in Bali for attempting to smuggle marijuana in her luggage in October 2004.
In April 2005 nine Australians were arrested and later convicted of attempting to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia. Two of them have been sentenced to death.