Prosecutors seek 15-year jail term for drugs charge Briton

 

A British woman is facing 15 years in jail in Bali for her alleged role in a cocaine smuggling ring.

Prosecutors have asked for the sentence if Lindsay Sandiford, 56, is convicted of smuggling the Class A drugs worth £1.5 million into the resort.

Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was arrested in May when customs officers at Bali's airport allegedly discovered 8.4lb (3.8kg) of cocaine in her luggage.

Prosecutor Lie Putra Setiawan told the Denpasar District Court today that the defendant was guilty of violating the country's strict narcotics law.

Another Briton, Rachel Dougall, 39, was sentenced to 12 months in prison in separate proceedings today for failing to report a crime to authorities.

Dougall's partner Julian Ponder, a former antiques restorer, with whom she lives in a villa on the resort, was charged with conspiring to import, smuggle and exchange drugs and being part of a drug syndicate, it has been reported.

Under Indonesia's very strict anti-drugs laws, drug smuggling carries the death sentence though foreigners seldom receive it.

An associate of the pair, Paul Beales, was also jailed for four years for illegal possession of 0.1oz (3.1g) of cannabis.

Dougall, Ponder and Beales were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking at the end of May along with an Indian man.

The four suspects were held in a sting operation after Sandiford, a housewife, was allegedly caught with the cocaine stuffed in the lining of a suitcase as she arrived on the sunshine island.

Dougall, who has already served eight months behind bars, maintained her innocence and insisted she was the victim of a "fit up".

Ponder has also alleged he was set up by Sandiford as he went to pick up a birthday present for his daughter.

PA

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