New Zealand man arrested in Bali for alleged smuggling of crystal meth into the island

Antony Glen De Malmanche of New Zealand sits as evidence is placed next to him by customs security during a press conference in Denpasar, Bali, on Dec 5, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Antony Glen De Malmanche of New Zealand sits as evidence is placed next to him by customs security during a press conference in Denpasar, Bali, on Dec 5, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) - A New Zealand man faces the death penalty after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle crystal methamphetamine into the Indonesian island resort of Bali, a customs official said Friday.

Anthony Glen de Malmanche, 52, was detained on Monday after officials found 1.7kg of the drug hidden inside his backpack when his flight from Hong Kong landed in Bali, airport customs chief Budi Harjanto said.

"The X-ray screening detected... crystal methamphetamine hidden inside a red plastic bag inside his backpack," he told reporters, adding that the suspect could face the death penalty if convicted.

He did not give an estimate for the street value of the drugs.

Indonesia enforces some of the stiffest penalties for drug trafficking in the world, including life imprisonment and death.

Foreigners are frequently arrested for attempting to smuggle narcotics into hard-partying Bali, and some have been handed the death sentence.

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, who was caught smuggling cocaine into Bali, was sentenced to death last year.

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are on death row in Indonesia after being convicted of being part of the "Bali Nine" group, which attempted to smuggle heroin into Australia from the resort island.