AUSTRALIAN consulate officials will visit an Ellenbrook teenager who has been detained by Indonesian police after travelling to Bali for leavers.
Jamie Murphy, 18, was picked up after allegedly being found with a small plastic bag containing white powder at a Kuta nightclub.
“The consul general in Bali has been in contact with the young man and we are arranging to visit him today,” Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said on Wednesday.
Ms Bishop said the teenager could be held for three days while an investigation took place and another three days while a decision was made about whether or not to arrest him.
The Australian government has also been in contact with his family to provide advice on issues like legal representation.
“We’re providing whatever advice and support we’re able to do these in circumstances,” Ms Bishop said.
The minister also took the opportunity to warn young Australians travelling to Indonesia that “the laws can be very harsh for offences or activities in Australian that might seem minor”.
Gerry Maio, president of the Perth-based Bayswater City Soccer Club where Mr Murphy plays, said his mother was overwhelmed by what had happened.
“Of course she was in tears as any mother would be,” he told ABC radio.
“It’s very hard to gather everything together.”
He described Mr Murphy as a wonderful young man and athlete and said the allegations were uncharacteristic of him.
“He was a very promising athlete in our sport. I haven’t even seen him with a bottle of beer in his hand,” Mr Maio said.
Mr Murphy plays on the wing for Bayswater City’s under 20s team.
He played 22 games and scored five goals for the 20s on top of two senior games in 2016.
Mr Murphy also played in City’s QBE Night Series win in March.
A Facebook post extending the club’s support to Mr Murphy and his family has since been deleted.
He is believed to have just graduated from high school before arriving on the popular tourist island on Sunday with two friends.
On Tuesday, he was stopped at the Kuta night spot Skygarden.
Inside his bumbag, club security allegedly found white powder in a plastic bag, an ATM card and hotel keys.
Kuta Police Chief Commissioner Wayan Sumara said officials were yet to confirm what the substance was.
“The evidence is still being tested,” Chief Sumara said.
Mr Murphy is also expected to undergo urine and blood tests.
Video footage of the teen’s arrest broadcast by Nine showed him being roughly grabbed around the face and neck by a man believed to be a police officer.
“I have witnessed this kind of behaviour before from the Indonesian police,” Ms Bishop said.
“But, again, I say we’re subject to their laws, to their system and the way they do things.”
If the substance is found to be drugs, Mr Murphy could face a maximum of 12 years in prison if arrested and convicted.
David Gribble, CEO of the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation, said his first thoughts were with Mr Murphy’s parents.
“My heart goes out to them – it’s your worst possible nightmare,” Mr Gribble said.
“His parents will be beside themselves.
“My heart sank when I saw this story.”
Mr Gribble said parents should be very wary of allowing leavers to travel overseas to celebrate their graduation.
“I would have thought it would be more reasonable to say ‘if you want to go to schoolies, it needs to be local and it needs to be somewhere where I can supervise you and get there if you have a problem’,” he said.
“The Bali, Kuta sort of area it’s a really adult, nightclub sort of environment.
“To put 17 and 18-year-olds, without any supervision, into that environment as a first-time-I’m-going-to-let-my-hair-down experience, I just think it’s a recipe for disaster.”