Aussie says Bali jail is "hell's hallway"

Fremantle man Travis James McLeod says Australians should not do drugs in Bali.
Fremantle man Travis James McLeod says Australians should not do drugs in Bali.

An Australian man arrested in Bali on drugs charges says he has a message for foreigners on the holiday island - Don't trust anybody.

And he has described the Bali jail he was sent to as "hell's hallway" and "like a microwave oven", expressing relief at being transferred to a drug rehabilitation facility to await trial.

Travis James McLeod has spent the past three months behind bars in Bali after police allege he was arrested with 0.86 grams of methamphetamine in his possession.

McLeod, whose case was handed to prosecutors on Thursday in readiness for his trial, spoke about how he has handled jail and his predicament.

McLeod, who is from Fremantle, also had a large haul of a locally grown stimulant called Kratom, but he is not charged in relation to that because while it has been declared illegal in Indonesia, the laws are not yet enforced.

He faces a charge of drug possession, which carries a maximum 12-year jail sentence and a charge of using drugs for himself. Both are in relation to the methamphetamine.

Shortly after his case was handed to prosecutors on Thursday McLeod was taken to the Anargya rehabilitation centre to receive treatment pending his trial.

He said after three months in the police lock-up he was "about as sober as it gets, as sober as a judge".

And he had a message for foreigners in Bali: "Don't trust anybody, nobody ... if somebody offers you drugs, it won't be drugs or they will be the police. If somebody goes to get you drugs and they get caught they will tell the police and ... that's what happened to me, my good friend brought police back to my house."

He said if you want to use drugs don't do it in Bali.

McLeod did not want to discuss the methamphetamine case, saying it was before the courts, but he was keen to extol what he says are the benefits of kratom, a substance which is also illegal in Australia.

"I am a kratom advocate and I have been using myself as a guinea pig," he said, describing how he had gone into the jungle in Borneo and visited the local Dayak tribes who he said used kratom, "the world's most magical medicinal plant".

He claimed to have proof from the dayaks that kratom helped you live longer and that one of them lived to 120 years of age. He said he has made a documentary about his adventures.

McLeod said big pharmaceutical companies and poppy farmer lobbies were behind the push to criminalise kratom.

He said he previously had a heroin habit but had made a promise to his legal team and advisors to stay clean.

Kratom has been illegal and declared a Type One narcotic in Indonesia since 2017 but a five-year transition period, means the laws are not being used to charge anyone until 2022.

Kratom is derived from a tree in Southeast Asia and the leaves can have psychotropic effects.

Australian Associated Press