Well here’s a shocker for you. Schapelle Corby – who was released from a Balinese prison earlier this year after serving nine years of a twenty year sentence for attempting to smuggle 4.6kg of marijuana into the country in her bodyboard bag – is yet again embroiled in drug charges on the Indonesian island. Only this time it’s her boyfriend, Ben Panangian, who has been arrested on allegations of possession of marijuana.
Bali police allege that the 32 year old Panangian – who Corby began dating whilst in prison – was arrested on the street in possession of the drug. A further search of his house allegedly uncovered more supplies of the drug.
A group of drug suspects had been paraded in front of police in Denpasar wearing black balaclavas and orange jumpsuits. Sources have since confirmed that one of those people was Panangian.
If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in Bali’s notorious Kerobokan prison. This arrest also has flow-on effects for Corby, as part of her parole conditions state that she must stay away from, and not associate with, drugs or criminal activity.
Members of the community have raised questions about the arrest, given that drug setups by police aren’t uncommon in the region, couple with Panangian’s raised profile due to his association with Corby, and particularly given her razor-thin relationship with the Bali parole board since her release.
More as this story develops.