1. ITV Report

British housewife arrested over Bali cocaine haul

Lindsay June Sandiford is seen at a news conference at the Customs Office at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali Photo: Stringer Indonesia / Reuters

A British woman has been arrested for smuggling cocaine worth £1.6 million into Indonesia.

55-year-old Lindsay Sandiford covered her face as she was brought out at a press conference in Kuta, a holiday town on the island of Bali.

Custom officials say they stopped Ms Sandiford carrying the 4.7kg haul in a suitcase as she arrived in Bali on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok on May 19.

The drugs were found hidden in the lining of a suitcase she was carrying, officials said.

Indonesia's strict drug laws could see Ms Sandiford face charges that would carry a death penalty. A third of the more than 140 people currently on death row are foreigners.

Three other Britons and an Indian, who are believed to be the intended recipients, are also being questioned by Indonesian police.

The head of Bali's drugs squad said the two British men, identified by the initials BP and JAP, were believed to be senior figures in a major drug-smuggling syndicate.

ITV News' Emily Morgan reported that Ms Sandiford's friends said she was a "lively character":

Maria Swift and Peter Janta-Lipinski both met Lindsey Sandiford at a Cheltenham Rugby club that their children attended, and said they were "shocked" to hear the reports. ITV West reports on the Gloucestershire businesswoman.

Customs official Made Wijaya has said in a statement:

After weighing, the total cocaine is 4.791kg. [The drugs] were estimated to have a street value of RP23.9 billion (£1.6m).

This is a big international network. The charge against them would carry the death penalty.

Ms Sandiford told the police she only agreed to make the trip because her children in England were being threatened.

The housewife decided to co-operate with the authorities in Indonesia in order to catch the other people in the gang.

Another 68g of cocaine, 280g of powdered ecstasy and a small amount of hashish were also recovered following the arrest of the other gang members at separate locations in Bali, officials said.

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