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Govt confirms drug arrest
By Sian Powell in Jakarta and wire services - August 23, 2005

A 20-year-old Adelaide man is being held in Indonesia after police allegedly found a "broad array" of illicit drugs, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has revealed.

Indonesian police last night announced they had detained the man after they allegedly found four used syringes and 2126 assorted pills in his house in the Sumatran city of Medan.

Graham Clifford Payne, 20, was also alleged to have had a package of "shabu-shabu" or methamphetamine in his shirt pocket.

Mr Payne, a teacher who lives on the island of Sumatra, is being held for questioning and the drugs are undergoing tests, Mr Downer said. "He apparently lives in Medan, which is in Sumatra, and he was found ... allegedly, with a quantity of drugs and that's now being investigated by the police," Mr Downer said.

"He is being detained while that investigation takes place and if the investigation proves that these really are drugs then they'll charge him."

Mr Downer said Australian authorities had been asked not to identify the drugs the man was allegedly found to have.

"We've been asked not to say at this stage but it is not just a question of ... tablets," he said.

"It is a broader array of drugs at least allegedly, we don't know."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) last night said the Australian Honorary Consul in Medan was making arrangements to visit Payne to offer consular assistance.

Investigating officer Detective Irwan Anwar from the Medan police told The Australian last night that Payne was arrested on Saturday, and his parents had already arrived in Indonesia.

"What is sure is that his urine tested positive for amphetamines and heroin," Detective Anwar said.

The young man was detained when police decided he looked suspicious in the motorised becak, or three-wheel vehicle, he was riding in.

The becak was pulled over, and Mr Payne was searched, Detective Anwar said.

Indonesia's new national police chief General Sutanto, the former head of the country's anti-narcotics board, has launched a massive crackdown targeting drug users and suppliers.

"The Indonesian police in Bali are really focused on trying to stop Bali being used either for the trafficking of drugs, or the use of drugs," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in Perth.

"Australians, I would have thought, through the Schapelle Corby case and the Bali nine case, would know that you want to keep drugs right away from places like Indonesia ... getting involved in drugs in any shape or form in Asia is perilous to say the least."

The 20-year-old claimed to have a job teaching in Medan, but police had yet to confirm it.

"But if it's true he is a teacher, why does he have so many drugs?" Detective Anwar said.

Police had yet to decide whether Payne's offences constituted possession, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, or the far more serious trafficking charge, which can carry a penalty of death.

Last week, a Bali court sentenced Adelaide internet businessman John Pyle to five months in jail for possessing a small amount of hashish. He could be free within weeks after initially facing 10 years jail.

The trial of the Australian "Bali Nine" for heroin smuggling is due to start in Indonesia next month.

The Australian also contributed to this report.

10th Aussie faces drug rap death penalty
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.

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