AF­TER LIV­ING THE HIGH LIFE AS A DRUG LORD IN BALI, ONE DEALER RE­VEALS WHAT HAP­PENS WHEN YOU GET AR­RESTED ‘The worst thing was the hits on the head – they have a big piece of wood... solid, heavy’


Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

BRI­TISH gran Lindsay San­di­ford is fac­ing a fir­ing squad un­less her ap­peal against a death sen­tence for drug smug­gling to Bali suc­ceeds.

The 56-year-old was con­victed of try­ing to en­ter the par­adise isle with more than 5kg of co­caine – worth £1.6mil­lion – in May last year.

But when things go wrong on Bali – as San­di­ford knows – they go HOR­RI­BLY wrong.

And the lo­cal po­lice and ju­di­ciary can be ev­ery bit as bent as the crim­i­nals they prey on. In our sec­ond ex­tract from her new book

Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist Kathryn Bonella in­ter­views one of the is­land’s ex-pat drug deal­ers about the day his lux­ury life was turned up­side down.


BRAZIL­IAN drug dealer Alberto was at his peak – rolling in cash, swamped by beau­ti­ful women and with all the boys’ toys he could wish for.

He was up there with the top deal­ers on Bali – Is­land of the Gods.

Along with his pals sealed their deals at ex­clu­sive clubs like the Nikko Bali Re­sort or Can­ngu Clubs – where only the rich­est could af­ford to be mem­bers.

He says: “There was a time I could say if you snorted coke here in Bali, there was a 50 per cent chance it would have come through my hands.

“We had that much here and we had the best qual­ity. A lot of peo­ple made mil­lions through my hands.”

But as much as deal­ing in par­adise opens up a life of or­gies, par­ties, surf­ing and glam­our, it has a very dark side if you get busted – with the most dra­co­nian sen­tences in the world and a no­to­ri­ous bru­tal and cor­rupt po­lice force, as Alberto dis­cov­ered.

He added: “Bali can be heaven one minute and hell in the next.”

One day, out of the blue, he is ar­rested by Bali po­lice of­fi­cers and, hand­cuffed and blind­folded, he is driven away.

Not to a po­lice sta­tion but to a house way out among the rice pad­dies. He knows he is about to be tor­tured for in­for­ma­tion on other deal­ers.

Alberto flinched as the cops grabbed his arms and shoved him into a room, push­ing him to sit down on the edge of a bed.

A door slammed shut, then boom, it was on, fists rain­ing bru­tal blows into his stom­ach, ribs and back, a hand slap­ping his face, as some­one else used a plank of wood to slam into his head.

He was help­less – the hand­cuffs prevent­ing him from even lift­ing his arms to shield his face. It was against ev­ery hu­man in­stinct, but he had to just sur­ren­der his body to the blows.

Even grit­ting his teeth, he could not stop cry­ing out in pain.

Af­ter an hour, the cops slammed the door be­hind them – leav­ing him slumped on the bed, hurt­ing badly and trem­bling.

He knew that was only round one; that they would be back to hurt him again, un­til they broke him down into help­ing them set some­one else up.

Right now An­dre, who owned the pills, and Rafael, whose name the cops had al­ready tossed out, were bliss­fully un­aware of his predica­ment, obliv­i­ous to how close they might be to fall­ing into the same dark hole if their friend broke.

As Alberto sat there, try­ing to slow his breath­ing, he was pray­ing he had the grit to take what­ever was coming with­out ca­pit­u­lat­ing.

He said: “The worst thing was the hits on the head with a wooden stick. They have this big piece of wood, solid, heavy.

“They hit like on the side of the ear, on the top of the head, close to my fore­head, on the back of my head.

“One guy hit­ting and an­other guy punch­ing on the ribs or slap­ping the face, to­gether, two guys, at the same time. My hands hand­cuffed be­hind my back.

“They hit me for one hour, two hours, then they go out of the room, and lumps come up on my head, and then they come again two hours later, and hit the lumps.

“That’s f***ing painful. You want to cry; they make you see stars. That was heavy. That’s the real pain.”


When­ever they left the room, Alberto slumped on the edge of the bed, feel­ing fainter and sicker, but his mind was try­ing to fig­ure a way out.

So far of­fer­ing cash hadn’t worked. They wanted to cre­ate a domino ef­fect be­cause it meant far more cash in the end, as well as a bunch of high-pro­file ar­rests.

He knew th­ese bru­tal bash­ings would even­tu­ally end, but if he turned rat he knew his soul would never re­cover.

So he kept sto­ically deny­ing and ab­sorb­ing the pain, try­ing to fig­ure out a way to end the tor­ture as fast as pos­si­ble.

He said: “All the time I was sit­ting on the bed, hand­cuffed and blind­folded, just sit­ting think­ing, ‘How am I go­ing to get out of this?’

“I would hear the door open­ing again, I would go, ‘Here we go again.’ I could see through the bot­tom of the blind­fold, the feet ar­riv­ing, the leather san­dals, so I knew if the same guys came back.

“Then they would start all over again, bang, hit me on the head, bam, slap on the face, bam, punch in the ribs, say­ing, ‘Come on, use your tongue, say some names, help us to help you, come on,’ and just hit, hit, hit.

“Some­times, they put a piece of wood on top of my bare toes, and one guy comes with a real strong kick, bam, and you see stars.

“So in the end, af­ter two days, they re­alised I wasn’t go­ing to talk or set any­one up – I was al­ready a f***ing zom­bie – and they fi­nally came in, say­ing, ‘OK, let’s go. You’re not go­ing to help us so you’re go­ing to go to jail for 10, 15 years, is that what you want?’

“I was like, ‘OK, if that’s it, that’s it, but please take me to the po­lice sta­tion. I wish I could help you, but I can’t.”

Alberto even­tu­ally paid the po­lice and ju­di­ciary al­most £20,000 as a bribe.

In­stead of an eight or 10-year sen­tence in the hell­hole Ker­obokan prison, he got one and a half years.

On re­lease, he ad­mits his first in­stinct was to do one last big deal and flee with the money… but re­sisted temp­ta­tion and re­mains on the is­land le­git­i­mately teach­ing peo­ple to surf.

GIVE po­lice­men a taste of their own medicine by stop­ping them in the street and ask­ing them where they’re

go­ing. WEL­COME TO HELL: Dealer Alberto was sent to Ker­obokan ( af­ter hor­rific beat­ing EX­CLU­SIVE: The Nikko Bali Re­sort

DEATH PENALTY: Brit gran Lindsay San­di­ford faces a fir­ing squad

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