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Australian arrested in Bali over meth stash -

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Australian arrested in Bali over meth stash

Broadcast: 01/10/2010

Reporter: Matt Brown

An Australian man has been arrested in Bali with almost two kilograms of methamphetamine.


TICKY FULLERTON, PRESENTER: An Australian man caught at Bali's International Airport with nearly
two kilograms of a white powder, thought to be methamphetamine, could face the death penalty.

Customs officials say they caught Michael Sacatides trying to smuggle the drugs into Bali from

As Indonesia correspondent Matt Brown reports, he's now been transferred into police custody.

MATT BROWN, REPORTER: Customs officials say the 43-year-old Australian was arrested after arriving
on an Air Asia flight this morning. They say he's a boxing instructor who's been living in Bangkok
for a year-and-a-half and earns around $1,900 a month.

Customs officers became suspicious when they detected a plastic bag in his luggage as it passed
through the airport screening machines. When they searched the bag they allege they found four
packages of methamphetamine, weighing in at 1.7 kilograms.

However, the Sydney born man says he's not a drug smuggler.

MICHAEL SACATIDES, ALEGGED DRUG SMUGGLER: No I didn't bring any drugs, this, this is news to me.

MATT BROWN: The head of the investigation has told the ABC the drugs were found concealed in the
side panels of the bag. Mr Sacatides says he knew nothing about them.

MICHAEL SACATIDES: I borrowed the bag, to put, I don't have a bag. I don't have a bag, I just
borrowed a bag to put some clothes in.

CUSTOMS OFFICIAL: Somebody asked you to borrow that bag?


CUSTOMS OFFICIAL: Or anybody give you money?


MATT BROWN: Methamphetamines are Class 1 narcotics under Indonesian law and people caught smuggling
more than five grams can be sentenced to death.

Three Australians, all members of the so-called 'Bali Nine' heroin smuggling ring, are currently on
death row. If this case proceeds, Mr Sacatides will be brought to trial in four to eight weeks.

Matt Brown, Lateline.