Kiwi in Bali drug bust

Last updated 22:31 19/02/2014

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A New Zealander woman arrested in Bali when drugs were allegedly found at her villa may have been dealing, police say.

Police reportedly found MDMA, marijuana and hashish at a villa in North Kuta where Leeza Tracey Ormsby, 37, was staying.

According to a police document seen by Fairfax Media, Ormsby was allegedly found with a joint inside her bag.

When police later searched the villa, they say they found 27 grams of hashish and 132 grams of MDMA. An electric scale, tape and plastic wrappers were also allegedly found at the villa.

A local police source said it was possible she was dealing drugs. ‘‘Judging from the evidence, it’s possible she’s dealing. If [she’s] just a user, why do you need a scale?’’ the source said. 

It is understood Ormsby lives in Paddington, Sydney. According to her lawyer, Ary B Soenardi, she is unemployed and arrived in Bali just a few days before she was arrested on February 12. She was in Bali to visit a friend, he said.

Ormsby, who was born in Rotorua, New Zealand, was arrested at a North Kuta village in Denpasar for possession, Denpasar drug squad chief Agus Tri Waluyo said.

Waluyo said police received information there was going to be drugs at a party in the villa.

‘‘We made the ambush on Wednesday around 8am,’’ he said. ‘‘In that location, we found the evidence."

According to a statement given to investigators, Ormsby admitted that some days before the raid, a drugs party had taken place with five of her friends, who had then returned to their home countries.

Police say Ormsby has not yet been charged.

Indonesia is renowned for heavy penalties for drug use.

Ross Bell, from the New Zealand Drug Foundation, said it was well known that drug laws in south-east Asia were some of the toughest in the world and Indonesian laws were some of the most ‘‘draconian in that region’’.

Both cannabis and methamphetamine were classed as Group One drugs in Bali, which meant they were considered highly addictive and therefore dangerous. Possession of a Group One drug in Bali could receive a penalty of life imprisonment. Trafficking a Group One drug could receive the death penalty.

Ormsby was arrested only two days after convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby was released on parole after spending nine years imprisoned in Kerobokan prison.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was aware of the arrest, a spokesman said.

"The consul from the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta is providing consular support and has visited the New Zealander," he said.

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The embassy’s role was to monitor her welfare and ensure that she had the same rights as other detainees in Indonesia, he said.

The ministry could not comment on the investigation or interfere in the judicial proceedings of another country.

The Indonesian government does not go softly on tourists caught with drugs, as witnessed with high-profile cases.

Ormsby’s arrest was only two days after the release on parole last week of Australian Schapelle Corby, who was convicted of drug smuggling in Indonesia in 2005. She spent nine years imprisoned in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison. 

In 2012 she was granted a five-year sentence reduction.

Corby maintained the drugs found in her body-board bag had been planted and she unaware they were there.

Her trial and conviction transfixed the Australian public.

Under her parole conditions, Corby will not be able to leave Indonesia until July 2017.

 - with Sydney Morning Herald

- Fairfax Media

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