Russian Man Fed Laxatives to Remove 63 Cannabis Pills He Was Suspected of Smuggling to Bali in His Stomach

Customs officials in Bali fed laxatives to a Russian man suspected of smuggling drugs into the Indonesian island, eventually discovering that he had swallowed 63 capsules concealing cannabis.

The arrest occurred on January 15, but the authorities shared details of the capture at a press conference Friday.

The 31-year-old man, who was identified only by the initials A.T., flew into Indonesia’s Ngurah Rai International Airport from Kathmandu, Nepal, via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bali customs and excise director, M. Syarif Hidayat told local media.

The official said the man was known to the authorities, which is why they immediately stopped him as he made his way through security and performed a thorough search, including X-ray scans. Suspecting the man was carrying drugs in his stomach, the officials gave him laxatives and recovered the capsules.

The official said it took two days to expel 63 capsules, which weighed a total 389.14 grams (13.7 ounces),  local publication Tribun Bali reported. According to the authorities, that amount could be sold to more than 1,945 users, assuming that a gram of hashish could be consumed by five people.

Indonesia has some of the strictest drug laws in Southeast Asia, with the most serious trafficking offenses punishable by death. The country considers marijuana and hashish to be class-A drugs comparable to cocaine and heroin.

The Russian national faces 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of 10 billion rupees ($73.6 million) if he is convicted.

02_13_Bali_Skulls Indonesian customs officers display some of the 24 human skulls, believed to be from Papua and Kalimantan, after they were prevented from being mailed out of Indonesia to the Netherlands, during a news conference in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on February 9. News of the arrest of a man fed laxatives because he was suspected of smuggling cannabis pills was eclipsed by the discovery of the 24 ancient skulls discovered in two packages. Antara Foto/Nyoman Budhiana/Reuters

News of the alleged drug-smuggling attempt was eclipsed at the press conference by the announcement of another, even rarer find.

Customs officials intercepted two packages containing 24 human skulls, reportedly en route to the Netherlands. The ancient, richly decorated skulls are believed to be culturally significant artifacts from other parts of Indonesia, the Associated Press reported.