Aussie sailor arrested for "gun running" in Bali


Bruce in West Oz
November 21, 2004, 07:28 PM
My wife and I were talking about this very thing the day before this story broke. My wife -- usually "gun neutral" -- said there was no way she would sail up north without a firearm for protection.

You should hear the media here drooling over this one; they've already got the guy convicted and locked away. "Journalists" are having a field day, asking why anyone would even need a firearm on a boat … :fire:

Guns were to fight pirates, says yachtsman
By Matthew Moore
Steve Pennels, Philip Cornford
November 22, 2004

Christopher Packer waits as Indonesian officials check his boat in Bali on Saturday.
Photo: AFP

International?adventurer Christopher Packer, 52, had good reason to fear pirates when he sailed into the Java Sea with his Italian-Peruvian girlfriend. But it was Ollie the Scottish backpacker he should have worried about.

After being boarded and robbed by pirates in Peru 18 months ago and then driving off a second attack with gunfire, the Perth yachtsman felt vindicated in having weapons on his 55-metre converted freighter, Lissa.

Police boarded the Lissa as it left Bali's Benoa harbour on Friday and confiscated a pistol, two rifles, two shotguns and 2500 rounds of ammunition which Mr Packer had not declared when he sailed into Indonesian waters.

Mr Packer, who won the Sydney-to-Hobart classic in 1975, was an Admirals Cup yachtsman for England in the same year and for Australia in 1979 aboard Police Car, spent the weekend in a cell.

Police, who said he would be charged with illegal possession of firearms, impounded his 500-tonne boat. They are considering drug charges after finding a tiny quantity of "leaf matter" in his cabin.

Police got a tip-off that there were 10 guns on board. Mr Packer believes he was dobbed in by backpackers Ollie and Kay, whom he took on board in Broome as cook and cleaner.

The relationship soured during the month-long voyage and the two left the Lissa in Lombok with no goodbyes.

Mr Packer's first mate, New Zealander Kenneth Brewster, 47, accused police of stealing equipment from the Lissa, including an $850 dive watch, sunglasses, mobile phones and pens.

Mr Packer surrendered his weapons to customs in Sydney when he returned to Australia in November 2003. He got them back in Darwin when he sailed north in October with his girlfriend Maria Gianna, 42, and four others.

He also declared the weapons in New Caledonia but police said he made no mention of them when he got to Lombok a month ago and when the Lissa went into Benoa to refuel on Friday.

Mr Packer got the weapons after a friend, Sir Peter Blake, was killed when fighting pirates who boarded his yacht on the Amazon in Brazil in December 2001.

His fears were realised in mid-2003 when the Lissa moored for the night in Peru. Pirates held Mr Packer and crew in their cabins. They stole diving gear, an outboard and a boat. A week later, theyreturned but Mr Packer and his crew were on guard, and drove them off by firing into the water.

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November 21, 2004, 08:25 PM
Busturds... :cuss:

November 21, 2004, 08:52 PM
So all over the world, large vessels such as container ships and very large tugs are disappearing. 'cause they're not allowed to carry arms :cuss: .
I've read many stories of piracy increasing world wide. :banghead:
Think the pirates go with knives in their teeth :rolleyes: :fire:
And I don't even have enough to take over a small third world country :evil:

November 21, 2004, 08:56 PM
Letting 'em off on Lombok was too good for them. I've been there -- remote but nice place, lots of sun & surf.

Should have marooned them on an atoll.

November 21, 2004, 09:52 PM
In turd world nations like Indonesia the cops are probably getting kickbacks from the pirates . . . so anything they can do to make the seas safe for piracy is desirable.

big poppa
November 21, 2004, 10:10 PM
i know people who have sailed their boats around the world,they find out quick from other travelers which ports to stay out of ,and some have gone as far as electrifing the hand rails on the boat for protection.

November 21, 2004, 10:22 PM

I know this guy!! I used to sail with him, he's a great mate of my brother!!

Chris is a little reckless and has certainly had an interesting life, but he's no gun runner or drug dealer.

Carrying guns to defend ships against pirates in that part of the world is not unusual ..... I don't see what the problem is, except he didn't declare them to customs. Looks like a couple of sheeple backpackers have got an innocent (or mostly so) guy in a heap of trouble.


November 22, 2004, 11:11 PM
Strange. Guns are now being allowed to the public in Indonesia. Apparetly you need a license of some sort....but this shouldn't be a huge deal for the guy. The "leafy matter" may hurt him though.

Actually when I was 12 (edited: actually 14 I think now that I look at my dive card) I was scuba diving with my mom in Indonesia. We surfaced and were surrounded by guys in a boat who jumped into the water with spears and knives. They were all wearing jimmy rigged stolen mismatched equipment. Being 12, and not having a Glock fitted with maritime caps, I drew my K-bar styled dive knife, grabbed her vest and mine and deflated, we sunk to about 60 feet and "walked" back to shore. They only had about 20 foot of air hoses and could not catch us as we went down like rocks. Dirtbags.

November 22, 2004, 11:22 PM
Check out "Dangerous Waters", a book about modern privacy I just read.

Indonesian villagers and Special Forces are both practicing piracy now. Malaysia has caught both groups in action.

Ponder for a moment a VLCC (very large crude carrier) steaming down narrow sealanes with the crew tied up. It'll make the Exxon Valdez look like your driveway stain.

November 22, 2004, 11:24 PM
What a surprise. A government that would rather see somebody killed and robbed than be armed. :rolleyes:

November 23, 2004, 04:47 AM
Acctually I was suprised by the long and pretty favorable section on the News about this the other night, pretty good for the ABC.

Anyone know what he was carrying? I'm sure I saw a nice looking M1 Grarand? Along with a couple of pump 12g's. Hope he gets them back.


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