August 23, 2005 - 3:29PM
A 20-year-old teacher has become the 10th Australian who could face a firing squad in Indonesia if convicted on drugs charges.
Graham Clifford Payne of Adelaide was arrested in Medan on Sumatra on Saturday allegedly with more than 2,000 assorted tablets as well as syringes, The Associated Press reported.
He's being held on suspicion of distributing drugs, including ecstasy - a capital offence in Indonesia. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, though, said Payne's case was not one of trafficking or "a dealer situation".
Also in facing a drug-related nightmare is Adelaide-born model Michelle Leslie, 24, after laboratory tests positively found the drug ecstasy in two tablets carried in her bag outside Bali dance party on Saturday.
Police declared her a suspect and can hold her in custody for up to 90 days for questioning.
Leslie, who models internationally under the name of Michelle Lee, faces a maximum of 15 years and a minimum of four in jail if convicted of possession.
Payne and Leslie are the latest in a string of foreigners to caught in an anti-drugs crackdown in Indonesia.
Already facing a possible death penalty are the Bali nine, the eight Australian men and one woman accused of trying to smuggle more than 8kgs of heroin from Bali to Australia in April.
Downer said Australians must heed South-East Asia's tough anti-drug stance. But he does not believe Australians are being targeted by Indonesian police.
"But I do think they are very tough on drugs," he said in Perth."They are very committed to stopping the drug trade."
Indonesia's National Police Chief General Sutanto said he had no sympathy for young Australians caught in Indonesia's war on drugs.
"This is for the sake of both countries," he said. "Both have the same interest in fighting drugs."
Payne, an English-language teacher, was arrested at a rented house in Medan.
Reports said 2,126 assorted pills and four syringes were found.
"If the investigation proves that these really are drugs then they'll charge him," said Mr Downer.
"It is a broader array of drugs - at least allegedly, we don't know," Mr Downer said.
Australian consular officials were preparing to visit Payne, whose parents are already in Indonesia.
"He's not been charged as yet - he's been detained pending what charges would actually be laid," parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Bruce Bilson told the Seven Network.
In Bali, Leslie hired Mohammad Rifan, a lawyer who is also defending some of the Bali nine. He is an advocate with a strong record of securing light sentences foreigners.
Leslie has proclaimed her innocence, telling police two suspected ecstasy tablets found in her handbag may have been planted there.
Bali police spokesman Colonel AS Reniban said the model had told detectives she bought the tablets from a "young man" the day before she was arrested.
The results of urine tests on Leslie, who had stopped over in Bali after an assignment in Singapore, were negative for drug use.
Her father Albert Leslie and her partner in Sydney, car dealer Scott Sutton, arrived in Bali. Her Australian lawyer Ross Hill was flying there overnight.
Leslie, who started full-time modelling at the age of 15 and has been in hot demand for her Eurasian looks, recently became the new face of Antz Pantz underwear.