The Timothy Geoffrey Lee story opens up so many cans of worms, where do we start, how can you give each worm due attention?
Dual British Australian national Timothy Geoffrey Lee has finally been arrested in Bali; it took some doing by the Australian Federal Police, though the AFP in Bali do not generally do much. Timothy Lee is said to be a drug baron, one of the narcotics king pins that Indonesia seems incapable if not reluctant to detain. But Mr. Lee's fate, or maybe not, came because the Aussies wanted their man for doing the nasty deed of putting drugs on Australian streets and having the audacity to flee Australia (clearly having received a tip-off) before they could nab him, a few miles to the western-criminal-on-the-run tropical paradise island of Bali.
The much trumpeted though tin whistle in effect AFP office in Bali, whose officers are charged with finding Australian criminals (drug barons, pedophiles, thieves, etc.) in amongst their unofficial island duties, finally got their man, or did they? And how come it took so long for both the AFP and Bali's narcotic police to do this?
Lee fled Australia for Bali on July 8th, 2006; the Australian Federal Police state this. So how come the AFP Bali only requested the Balinese police arrest Lee on the 9th November 2009? Over 3 years after! Seems the AFP officers in Bali were too worried about getting the final touches to their illegal villas just right!
And then, how come it took the Balinese police so long to arrest Lee? After all, there was an Interpol Red Watch order against Lee with the advisory "Warning: This person may be armed, dangerous and addicted to drugs"! Lee is in Bali on a long term visa! So he registered with the authorities and applied for and received a resident permit despite being on Interpol's most wanted list! How come a drug baron got a residency?
So then finally, after months and years of bumbling around, the AFP, Interpol and the Balinese police, best known for protecting and financially benefiting from narcotics proceeds than shutting them down, they finally caught Lee at his registered residence in Canggu north of the Kuta / Legian / Seminyak tourist strip where, it has to be said, many dubious expats live. I mean, if Lee had not been so good as to register, to get a visa and to stay at his registered home in Bali, how much longer would it have taken the combined forces of Interpol, the AFP and the Keystone Kops (POLDA) to arrest him? Wow, that really gives us confidence they can locate terrorists who are less considerate and "law" abiding!
Ah, but isn't this all a sign that Lee enjoyed Balinese police protection? That only when the AFP and Interpol drove these uniformed clod mafia to Lee's house did they arrest him? No? Well, let us look at a few facts and how the Lee show "must" now go on!
With all the drug barons in Indonesia, all the Interpol data and arrest warrants which exist for them, how come they hardly ever are arrested? Only mules like the Bali Nine (AFP tip off) and questionable mules like Schapelle Corby (probable AFP / Bali police set up) are arrested, along with undesirable Australian union leaders like Rob McJannett get theirs! With so many Bali street pimps / pushers to arrest, only those fingered by the Australians and a token number of set-up tourists dumb enough to buy from the police protected street dealers (who always, amazingly, manage to "run away" from the police) ever get nabbed!
Why? Because the drug barons are part of the Indonesian system of course; they pay bribes and receive immunity, most of the time, maybe all of the time, read on.
So what now of Timothy Geoffrey Lee? On an Interpol Red (the highest) Watch Order, considered extremely dangerous, arrest warrants and extradition proceedings from Australia made? Is Lee on the next (private tax payer funded) plane to Australia? Well, no, not quite. Lee denies being involved in drugs. He has appointed a chief fixer / negotiator "lawyer" (no such thing as a real lawyer in Bali) Erwin Siregar to come to his rescue; Siregar mired in many alleged justice bribery cases. The process will take around a year, going from one court to another, subject always to the inevitable bung of the Indonesian judicial [sic] system before ultimately, maybe, arriving on the desk of the Indonesian president to approve, or not.
All those Aussie tax payer dollars going to try and secure Lee's incarceration (itself tax paid); the failed arrest in Aussie (courtesy some bent police officer who tipped Lee off), the AFP holiday villa in Bali club, and now the legal and not so legal costs to bring Lee to justice. Ripper mate! Let's go to Bali and give those bar stewards some more of our money!
One small drop in the ocean, the ripples heard but unfelt amongst the scores of western criminals in Bali. A circus where the suspect stands accused by perhaps greater social whores; the AFP, the Balinese police, the Australian Government.