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American, 4 other foreigners accused of selling drugs to tourists on Bali

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: Police officers escort foreign nationals arrested for selling drugs
Indonesian police officers escort five foreign nationals arrested on drugs charges prior to a press conference on the resort island of Bali on Friday.   -   Copyright  AP

DENPASAR, Indonesia — Indonesian authorities have arrested an American, two Spaniards and two Russians for selling cocaine and marijuana on Bali, police said Friday.

The three men and two women were paraded at a police news conference in the Bali provincial capital, Denpasar, days after being detained.

They were arrested between May 20 and 24 in the tourist hotspot of Kuta, Denpasar police chief Ruddi Setiawan said.

He said the arrests began when police caught a 33-year-old Russian man, identified only as Nikita, arranging cocaine sales by phone to foreign tourists.

Police seized 0.7 ounce of cocaine and 1.6 ounces of marijuana from the group.

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"We are still investigating how they got that cocaine and marijuana," Setiawan said. "We believe they are part of an international syndicate and got the drugs from abroad."

Police identified the 31-year-old American suspect as Ian. A Russian woman, 31, was identified as Maria and a Spanish woman, 33, as Laura. A 37-year-old Spanish man identified as Juan had operated a restaurant in nearby Kerobokan for a long period of time, police said.

Indonesia has strict drug laws and dozens of convicted smugglers are on death row.

An Indonesian court last week sentenced a Frenchman to death for smuggling ecstasy to Lombok, next to Bali, even though prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.