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Police Arrests a New Agricultural Class of Foreign Tourists in Bali

Russian Couple Caught Operating Marijuana Farm from 350-Square Meter Compound in Jimbaran

A couple hailing from Russia, Lurii Chernov (31) and Mishel Kvara Tskheliya (27), are now in the custody of police in Bali, Indonesia after being arrested at their place of residence on Jalan Jaba Sari No. 23, in Puri Gading, Jimabaran on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

As reported by NusaBali, the Russian couple was arrested during a raid on their residence, which covers a total lot of land measuring 350-square meters, at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. The couple's arrest was only made public by the police on the following Monday, January 27, 2020. When the raid was conducted, police found the couple were intensively cultivating marijuana plants that were being regularly harvested to produce narcotics for the couple’s personal use and a small circle of select customers.

The chief of the Denpasar Police Precinct, Ruddi Setiawan, accompanied by the head of the Denpasar Narcotic’s Division, Mikael Hutabarat, told the press on Monday, January 27th that police found no less than 106 marijuana plants, some dried and others still under active cultivation. Police also found a large number of potted plants use for the germination of coming crops.

The Russians had been cultivating marijuana for some time using sophisticated hydroponic methods. Such was the size of the couple’s agricultural venture that plants were also being cultivated in the inside of the house and patio area using fertilizers and ultraviolet lighting. Police say in the past, the couple harvested and dried their crops for eventual sale to foreign tourists.

The Russian “agriculturalists” have contracted their small dwelling for the past two years for Rp. 50 million per year. Police were told that 106 marijuana plants were being planted every three months providing for four harvests annually. Police learned that the seeds used to plant marijuana were originally obtained from another Russian named Andre in July 2018. Using Youtube.com, the two Bali tourists said they were able to study how to plant, harvest, and process marijuana.

When police raided the private residence they found 6 glass jars containing 710 grams of dried marijuana, 14 pots of cultivated marijuana, 14 sprouting marijuana plants in cups, an electronic scales, a bong, a handphone, laptop, and tens of planting pots. Police also found a variety of items used in drug production including funnels, baskets, UV lights, and thermometers.

The two Russians are expected to have their files sent to prosecutors for charges under the national anti-narcotics laws punishable by a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 years in prison, and with fines of between Rp. 800 million and Rp. 8 billion.

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