Updated: 04/11/2014 01:41 | By Agence France-Presse

Frenchman could face death for Bali drug smuggling

A Frenchman appeared in court in Bali Thursday accused of trafficking a large stash of crystal methamphetamine into the Indonesian resort island, an offence punishable by death.

Frenchman could face death for Bali drug smuggling

Francois Jacques Giuily (R) of France speaks with his interpreter during his trial in a Denpasar court on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on April 10, 2014 - by Sonny Tumbelaka

Francois Giuily was arrested in January at Bali airport with more than three kilograms (6.8 pounds) of the drug hidden in two plastic bags in his suitcase lining, said prosecutor Suryatmaja, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Airport customs chief I Made Wijaya said at the time of his arrest that the drugs had a street value of $511,280. 

The 48-year-old, making an initial appearance in court in the Balinese capital Denpasar, was charged under a law that bans the production, import and distribution of illegal drugs.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of death under Indonesia's tough anti-narcotics laws.

Giuily told officials that a Gambian drug trafficker he met on the Internet asked him to deliver the drugs to Indonesia and promised to pay him $4,000, the prosecutor said.

There are several foreign nationals on death row for drug-related offences in Indonesia.

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in January last year after being found with $2.4 million worth of cocaine in her luggage as she arrived in Bali.

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