Kiwi held over airport seizure wrote of being scared while waiting to meet internet girlfriend in HK.
New details have emerged about a New Zealand man's trip to Asia to meet his internet girlfriend for the first time, before he was arrested for allegedly smuggling meth into Bali.
Antony Glen de Malmanche, 52, was detained at the international airport in Denpasar on Monday.
The Wanganui beneficiary had travelled via Hong Kong, where he had met his new girlfriend, "Jessie", after encountering her through internet dating.
Methamphetamine is in the most serious drug class in Indonesia and anyone convicted of trafficking it faces the death penalty.
While in Hong Kong, de Malmanche contacted a friend in New Zealand. "He messaged me saying the place was scary and [he] would be glad when this woman met up with him," the friend told the Herald.
"Her name was Jessie, that's all I know. This is a classic case of looking for love in all the wrong places. The only thing he's guilty of is being gullible. He's been set up big time. She played him, we all know it. He's not into drugs, only painkillers for his injuries. He's just not geared that way."
De Malmanche was excited to have met the woman after a few rough years. His friend was devastated he had apparently been used by her.
His family have started a givealittle page to raise money to get him a lawyer and said any help would be "greatly appreciated".
In a statement to the Herald, the de Malmanches said the father and grandfather was "an all-round happy and genuinely nice guy who has over the recent years improved himself as a person, despite major health and past issues".
De Malmanche was seriously injured in 2002 while felling trees, and his 7-year-old son drowned in 2004.
"He was ready to look for companionship, and started dating online," his family said.
"Tony went overseas to Hong Kong and Guangzhou with a genuine intent to meet a woman he had met online.
"While the family had some doubts about how genuine this woman was, he was adamant this woman was legitimate and insisted it wasn't anything sinister. Unfortunately, his trustworthy nature has got the better of him."
The family said de Malmanche had been "taken advantage of in a sophisticated scam and used as a drug mule".
"He never informed us of any plans of going to Bali." The family were trying to "make sense of this predicament".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta has been in contact with de Malmanche.
"The New Zealand Consul will travel to Bali and visit Mr de Malmanche early this week," said a spokeswoman.
Envoy helps second Kiwi on P charges
The Government has stepped in to help a second Kiwi facing methamphetamine charges and a death sentence overseas.
Builder Peter Gardner, 25, has been charged with smuggling 75kg of the drug out of China.
His 22-year-old girlfriend, Kalynda Davis - the daughter of a former senior Sydney policeman - has also been charged.
The couple could be sentenced to death by firing squad if convicted.
The NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was aware of the charges against Gardner.
"Consular assistance is being provided to Mr Gardner by the New Zealand Consulate-General in Guangzhou," a spokeswoman told the Herald.
"The Consul-General has visited Mr Gardner in the detention centre to check on his well-being.
"He has legal representation."
A Beijing-based lawyer, Xie Yanyi, told News.com.au that until the couple were officially charged, their families had to apply for special permission to see them.
Even after charges were laid and sentences handed down, they would receive only one visit from family each month.
That would remain the same - if they escaped the death penalty - for the rest of their lives, the lawyer said.