Bali 9 been there before

The two ringleaders of the Bali heroin-smuggling operation and two of their alleged drug "mules" had made multiple trips to Bali in the past eight months. Lieutenant-Colonel Sugiarto said 18-year-old Sydneysider Matthew Norman, the youngest of the gang and the only one in jail not to be visited by relatives or friends, had been to Bali three times since last October, using two passports, each one carrying a different date of birth.

And Renae Lawrence, 27, from Wallsend in NSW, had travelled to Bali three times and used "a different passport". Sitting in the holding cell at Bali police headquarters yesterday, Ms Lawrence confirmed she had been to Bali three times, but denied using different passports.

The alleged "godfather", Andrew Chan, 21, from Sydney, visited Bali twice; and 24-year-old Myuran Sukumaran, now thought by police to be the drugs network's "enforcer", had also been to Bali twice. "Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were in Bali together in October 2004," Lieutenant-Colonel Sugiarto said.

The information sheds new light on the formation of the alleged smuggling ring and casts doubt on the claims Ms Lawrence and the other couriers knew nothing of the operation until April 17, when they claim they were forced to transport a total of 8.3kg of heroin, packaged in blocks and taped to their legs and bodies.

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MathewK -

Some, back home have been quick to offer theories that the mules were just misunderstood, socially disadvantaged, gullible, foolish, tricked, forced etc and just needed some support and a helping hand to get back on track, heroin isn't such a bad thing, so what if they brought it back here, so what if heroin ruins peoples lives, its all the AFP's fault, these were just kids who didn't know what they were doing, adolescents who were acting impulsively.

Well, this pretty much blows those theories, sky-high out of the water. I truly hope people learn from this.

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