Two Australians paraded in shackles after Bali drug arrests

Two Australian men, William Cabantog and David Van Iersel, have been arrested in Bali amid reported links to a cocaine trafficking operation. Van Iersel is paraded by police before the media

 Two Australian men, William Cabantog and David Van Iersel, have been arrested in Bali amid reported links to a cocaine trafficking operation. Van Iersel is paraded by police in front of the media. Photograph: AAP

Two former Melbourne nightclub promoters facing drug charges in Bali have been paraded wearing shackles in front of the media, amid reported links to a cocaine-trafficking operation.

The men have been named in media outlets as William Cabantog, 35, and David Van Iersel, 38.

Dressed in orange prison fatigues with their heads bowed, police led Cabantog and Van Iersel out in handcuffs and foot shackles on Tuesday morning.

Cabantog had his face in his hands.

Officers also displayed the evidence they had collected including 1.12 grams of cocaine and a set of scales.

University of Melbourne Indonesia expert Tim Lindsey said depending on which offences they are charged with they could be facing a minimum of four years jail if convicted.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was first elected in 2014 on a strong platform of zero tolerance towards drug offences.

Bali Nine ring leaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in 2015, after a decade on death row, despite intense Australian diplomatic lobbying to spare their lives.

“[Widodo] has been very consistent about it and merciless in his application of the law to drug offenders,” Lindsey said.

“On the other hand however, when it is small quantities like a gram or so, there have been cases where the courts have been less aggressive in Bali.”

Lindsey noted punishments are usually much lighter if the court is convinced the drugs were for personal use.

Cabantog and Van Iersel, were arrested on Saturday during raids of homes and nightclubs in the resort village of Canggu.

Police reportedly seized CCTV video from a venue where one of the men worked.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it stood ready to offer consular assistance.

Indonesian media reports said charges were yet to be laid and investigations were continuing.

[“source=theguardian”]

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