Russian national Alexander Simonov, caught in April in Indonesia trying to smuggle drugs into the country, was sentenced to eight years in prison and was ordered to pay a fine, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Judge Gunawan Tri Budino, who presided over the trial, said “the accused was a courier with an international drugs syndicate.”
State prosecutor Ketut Sujaya earlier stated that Alexander Simonov tried to enter Indonesia after swallowing 88 capsules containing at least 786 grams of methamphetamine, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Prosecutors demanded the punishment of 11 years in prison and a fine of one billion Indonesian rupees ($104,000).
Both Simonov and prosecutors said they were satisfied with the judge’s verdict, however, as the Russian was leaving the court’s building he attempted to punch a photographer, who took pictures during the trial, the newspaper said.
Simonov, a yoga instructor, bought the drugs in India for $1,500 and planned to sell them in Bali for about $60,000.
Another Russian, 43-year-old St. Petersburg resident Sergei Chernykh, was detained at Bali airport almost at the same time as Simonov. Chernykh was also found to have drug-filled capsules inside his stomach.
Like many other countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has very strict drug laws. Those caught smuggling large amounts can be sentenced to death. There are currently over 140 people convicted on narcotics charges, including 50 foreigners, on death row in Indonesian prisons.