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Bali Yoga Teacher Arrested On Series Of Drug Charges

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Police in Bali has arrested an Indian man who has been working on the island as a yoga teacher. 32-year-old Samarth Karwal was arrested on Friday 5th August August for possession of marijuana. Karwal was arrested in the car park of the Indomaret on Jalan Raya Kerobokan. An investigation is underway and police have shared they believe that Karwal has been dealing marijuana in the area. 

According to local news reports, Karwal has been regularly seen in the car park of Indomaret on Jalan Raya Kerobokan, it is believed that this is where he was arranging his drop-off rendezvous. The police were alerted to Karwal’s movements after local citizens shared their concerns. 

The police deployed a surveillance team to monitor his movements and on Friday evening had gathered sufficient evidence of Karwal’s actions to warrant an arrest. An unnamed police source told local reporters that ‘We secured the man without a fight at the crime scene after taking the marijuana-type drug package on Friday, August 5, 2022, at around 10 pm’.  

Denpasar Police confirmed the arrest publicly on Tuesday afternoon. They have also confirmed that they have launched an investigation into Karwal and the origins of the marijuana. An investigator for Denpasar Police told local reporters that Karwal was found in possession of 16.92 grams of marijuana. They searched his property but found no further evidence. 

Reports suggest that Karwal was dealing marijuana primarily to Indian citizens in Bali, although the investigation will work to uncover all people linked to Karwal’s suspected actions. When asked whether the arrest was connected to any other marijuana-related cases, or a larger international network of drug dealers, the investigator delicate to comment, saying that the situation is still developing. 

Little more is known about Karwal, he is believed to have been living in the Canggu area and working in Bali as a yoga instructor.

Despite confirmation from the sources within the Denpasar Police, when local reporters contacted the Head of Public Relations of Denpasar Police Iptu I Ketut Sukadi for an official press release he said ‘Patience, I’ll check first, because no reports have come in’. Not all drug arrests or arrests of international citizens receive a formal press release from the provincial police. 

Police in Bali have made a series of marijuana-related arrests in recent weeks. Last week West Denpasar Police arrested 24-year-old Ricard Fajariadi for possession of marijuana and for making marijuana-related products. Fajariadi was found in possession of a package containing over a kilo of dried marijuana.

Police also found marijuana soaking in local arak (homemade liquor) to be infused into chocolate. Fajariadi said that he got the idea from his brother who is currently incarcerated in a prison in Sumatra for similar drug charges. The police were led to Fajariadi after a suspicious package was sent to him from Sumatra. The parcel was flagged by Pos Indonesia and the police tracked the package to Fajariadi’s address.

A Californian man living in Kuta was also arrested last week after a suspicious parcel was delivered to his address. The parcel was sent from Thailand to the address in Kuta without a named recipient. The police found seven bottles of ‘suspected marijuana liquid’ at the property and arrested the man known by his initial JPC on drug charges. 

Both Fajariadi and JPC’s suspected possession of drugs was flagged by authorities because the substances were sent in the mail. People in Bali and across Indonesia are reminded that marijuana is illegal in all forms in Indonesia.

Despite marijuana being legalized in other parts of South East Asia, authorities in Bali are firm that marijuana or any cannabis-related products will remain illegal and that drug trafficking in any form, of any amount, will not be tolerated.

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