OPERATION: A car arrives yesterday at the boy’s Morisset Park house, which was covered in hessian sheets. – Picture by Dean OslandIT WAS an epic journey for the Lake Macquarie teenager known as the Bali Boy.
Escaping a harsher sentence for being caught buying 3.6 grams of marijuana in Kuta almost seemed like the easy part yesterday as the 14-year-old’s family tried to avoid the cameras during a meticulously-planned dash from Denpasar airport to their Morisset Park home.
Pacific Blue flight 4146 touched down in Sydney at 9.53am ending the boy’s two-month ordeal in detention, but he didn’t leave the airport for several hours.
Passengers on the flight said he was surrounded by police officers as he was ushered through customs to a side area.
Hours later he was secretly taken through a private airport exit, escorted by Australian Federal Police as requested by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and driven to his weatherboard home on the water where hessian sheets were hung to thwart photographers.
The boy was smuggled into the house in a covert operation involving a pillow and a neighbouring property.
The family ran to a back entrance from adjacent bushes with the boy hiding his face behind a balaclava and a pillow.
‘‘Obviously they don’t want to speak to the media,’’ said Grant Vandenburg, the celebrity agent who reportedly brokered a $300,000 media deal for the family that was allegedly aborted after it angered the Indonesian authorities.
But speculation of a deal was still rife.
Celebrity agent Max Markson said he believed the family had a deal with Channel Nine and its magazines but that they ‘‘haven’t signed the contract’’.
‘‘You’ll see it in 60 Minutes, you’ll read about it in Woman’s Day or Woman’s Weekly or both,’’ he told the ABC.
Channel Nine ‘‘categorically’’ denied any deal despite the presence of 60 Minutes journalist Allison Langdon in Bali.
‘‘People can speculate all they like,’’ Channel Nine spokesman David Hurley said.
‘‘The answer was no, is no and will be no.’’
Proceeds from any deal can be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act only if the offence committed overseas is also an offence against Australian law punishable by a minimum of 12 months imprisonment.
In NSW, punishment for possession of marijuana ranges from a caution notice to two years’ imprisonment, however, a court has discretion in applying the act.
Natalie Skead, an associate professor of law from the University of Western Australia, said the Director of Public Prosecutions had shown a trend towards commencing litigation under the act. SMH