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Italian-Australian Fugitive On Interpol List Finally Captured In Bali

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Authorities in Bali have announced the successful arrest of Antonio Strangio, who has been on the run from Interpol for over six years. Strangio was arrested at Bali Airport on 3rd February. Though he claimed to be visiting Bali for a holiday, the dual Italian-Australian citizen was arrested as stipulated in his Red Notice from Interpol that has been in place since November 2016. 

Interpol Offices

The Head of Sub Directorate III of the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Bali Police, AKBP Endang Tri Purwanto, along with the Bali Police Spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, held a press conference on Monday 7th, February to outline the details of the arrest. 

Close up of Criminal's arms and hands through a jail prison cell gate

Purwanto said, “he was arrested by immigration, it is possible that he just landed in Indonesia and was immediately arrested by our immigration friends on the 3rd and handed over on the 4th to the Bali Regional Police. Currently, the person concerned is being held at the Bali Police Detention Center on suspicion of a drug case. The Red Notice is from Interpol Rome. But the person concerned has two nationalities, namely Italian and Australian. From the red notice filing letter from 2016. So it is suspected that from 2016 he disappeared.”

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He continued, “of course [the next steps of] communication are between police. Likely to be extradited. [The timing of when he] will be extracted…will communicate with AFP or Interpol.” Strangio is wanted in connection with a high-profile drugs case in Rome related to selling 160kg of marijuana in the Italian capital. 

Interpol is the International Criminal Police Organisation and is the world’s largest policing body. In 2023 the organization will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. There are 195 member states, including Indonesia, which joined in June 1956. The headquarters are located in Lyon, France, and the regional bureau for Asia is located in Bangkok, Thailand. 

In June 2022, police in Bali revealed details of high profile drug case involving an Australian fugitive on the run from Interpol authorities. Following the arrest of three Indonesian citizens in Bali who worked for the drug kingpin, Bali authorities began collaborating with international agencies to track the gang leader down. Speaking at the time, the Director of Drugs and Drugs at the Bali Police Headquarters, Kombes Pol Mochamad Khozin, told the press, ‘The hunt was carried out after the arrest of three Indonesian citizens with the initials AAP, KMS, and KS in one of the villas in Kuta on April 12, 2022’. 


During the drug bust, police uncovered a huge stash of narcotics; 35kg of crystal methamphetamine in addition to 2.6kg of marijuana, 32kg of cocaine, and nearly 800 ecstasy pills. Police suggested that the street value of the narcotics recovered in the rai would be valued over IDR 55 billion (USD 3.6 million).

Indonesia is well known for having a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to drugs. On 1st January, officials at Bali Airport arrested 19-year-old MF from Brazil. The teenager was found in possession of 3.6kg of cocaine in her luggage and is believed to have been lured into becoming a drugs mule by a drug gang in Brazil. She remains in custody and faces up to 20 years in prison, though police in Bali have not yet confirmed that the death penalty is off the cards. 


Security and intelligence services in Bali are quick to respond to leads and suspicious activity. Though according to the former Governor of Bali and ex-Police Chief for Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, security authorities in Bali need more support and guidance. Speaking at a panel discussion in late January, he said, “There must be a ‘sense of security’. You can’t [risk] it, especially since tourism is the most vulnerable.” 


Pastika shared that, in his opinion, Bali needs to develop an international standard security and safety development program. And that in order to do that, the island and its security teams need access to sophisticated surveillance and security equipment, outstanding human resources, and access to international intelligence networks. He concluded, “The presence of the tourism police is a good selling point for tourism because tourists can feel safe and protected.”

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Thursday 9th of February 2023

Bali seems to be attractive to the dregs of the world. Why is that?


Saturday 11th of February 2023

@Exp, what attracted you to Bali? And Why that is despite the many things that Bali get you and others upset.

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

In the Netherlands is marijuana legal.