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WA teen Bali ordeal a lesson for tourists

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016

As Perth teenager Jamie Murphy flies home after his Bali ordeal, an Indonesian security expert has reminded tourists to not just be wary of police entrapment, but also the perils of over-the-counter drugs.

Former senior legal attache at the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Mark Briskey, said Bali police could have chosen to charge the 18-year-old with attempting to possess a narcotic substance after he was found with a white powder that later proved to contain paracetamol.

"An American fellow a little while back was charged with possession of marijuana, which in fact was literally grass clippings," Dr Briskey told AAP.

It was not uncommon for undercover police in Bali to entrap hapless tourists with illicit drugs, he said.

"The only safe option is to buy a bottle of Bintang and have your fun that way," Dr Briskey said.

"You've got to be careful."

Tourists can even get into trouble for over-the-counter drugs in certain countries.

Paracetamol used to be enough to get into trouble in Greece, where a prescription is still required for anything containing codeine.

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