Schapelle Corby’s Boyfriend Ben Panangian Arrested on Drug Charges
By Anne Lu | August 29, 2014 4:11 PM EST
The Indonesian boyfriend of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been arrested on drug charges.
According to News Corporation, Ben Panangian, 32, was caught with marijuana on a street in Bali on August 20. Police claim that they also found more in his clothes. He was arrested under his full name Bernard P Simanjuntak.
Australian beauty therapist Schapelle Corby reacts in a courtroom in Denpasar in the Indonesian island of Bali in this August 25, 2006 file photo. Indonesia granted early parole on February 7, 2014 to convicted Australian drug trafficker Corby despite calls from some MPs for the high profile prisoner to serve out her full term. Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 for trying to smuggle 4kg of marijuana into Bali. REUTERS/Murdani Usman/Files
A police raid on his home later also reportedly revealed more marijuana found in a wardrobe.
He was among a group of drug suspects who were paraded by police in Denpasar. The suspects have had their head covered and were not named, although sources told the news site that Panangian was one of them.
If convicted, he faces a maximum of 12 years in prison.
In May, it was reported that Corby has rekindled her romance with Panangian, whom she met in jail in Kuta while he was serving time on minor drug offences. They were seen often hanging out in her family’s surfboard and swimwear shop in Central Kuta.
Although Panganian’s recent arrest looks bad for the 37-year-old Australian since part of her parole conditions is to stay away from anything related to drugs or crime, her parole officer Putu Andiyani said that it would have no effect on her parole.
Andiyani told the Herald Sun that she was not aware of the recent arrest or that Corby was or perhaps still in relationship with him. If Panangian and Corby are indeed dating, they are not married and Corby had done nothing wrong. So as long as Corby wasn’t involved with the crime, she has not violated the terms of her parole.
Corby was convicted in 2005 for the importation of cannabis into Bali. She was released on parole in February 2014 after serving nine years imprisonment. Since she may not leave Indonesia until her original sentence expires in July 2017, she now lives with her sister Mercedes and her husband in the country.
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