Australian arrested in Indonesia for drug possession

SURABAYA, Indonesia (AFP) - An Australian man faces up to 20 years in an Indonesian prison after being arrested with a stash of drugs in his possession, police said on Tuesday.

Andrew Roger, 53, was detained at a cafe he runs from his home in the city of Surabaya in eastern Java where he was rolling a marijuana cigarette with two friends, Surabaya police commissioner Setija Junianta said.

"From his home we seized marijuana, crystal methamphetamine, ketamine, ecstasy pills and Happy-5 pills (nimetazepam), and instruments to consume the drugs," Mr Junianta said.

"He admitted all the drugs and materials were his and said that they were only for personal use, not for distribution," he said.

Roger was found with 800 grams of marijuana and 9.2 grams of crystal methamphetamine, and told police he would buy one kilogram of marijuana every two to three months for personal use.

Police said that Roger explained he had consumed drugs for years in Australia and continued to do so in Indonesia and East Timor, where he has worked as a contractor.

Indonesian enforces stiff penalties for drug crimes, including the death penalty for trafficking and distribution. People who can prove addiction, however, are often given more lenient sentences and are required to undergo rehabilitation.

Several foreigners have been jailed in Indonesia for drug crimes in recent years, including two Australian men and a British grandmother sentenced to death in two separate trafficking cases.

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