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Corby's boyfriend again behind bars

Schapelle Corby's boyfriend that she met in prison, Ben Panangian, has been arrested on drugs charges in Bali. Michael Bachelard reports.

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Schapelle Corby will not be locked up again but her supervision on parole will be tightened after her long-time boyfriend was found in possession of drugs.

Corby's boyfriend, Ben Panangian, 32, was arrested on August 20, allegedly in possession of marijuana in two packages, one of 0.64 grams and the other of 8.21 grams.

Under Indonesian law, it's enough to earn Panangian up to 12 years in prison, though in reality sentences for possession are usually much shorter.

Supervision tightened: Schapelle Corby.

Supervision tightened: Schapelle Corby. Photo: AFP

Corby met Panangian in Kerobokan prison, where he was serving time on drugs charges.

She has maintained the relationship since she was granted parole in February, however her mother, Rosleigh Rose, is now understood to be denying Panangian is Corby's boyfriend.

Corby's continuing parole is on the condition that she be of good behaviour and stay away from drugs.

A group of men, including Schapelle Corby's boyfriend Ben Panangian, who were arrested on drugs charges. Panangian is No.99.

A group of men, including Schapelle Corby's boyfriend Ben Panangian, who were arrested on drugs charges. Panangian is No.99. Photo: Bali Police

"We will tighten our supervision. We will also remind her of her obligations and will increase visitation, because it is part of supervision," Bali Parole Board head Ketut Artha said.

"Early next month she will came in for reporting, and we will remind her then [of the rules]. I will observe the situation first, and if it's enough with just two parole officers, I will let it continue just as is. Or I will also personally supervise her."

Apart from that, "there's no effect," Mr Ketut confirmed, "because [the alleged crime] was done by someone else".

Arrested: Schapelle Corby's boyfriend Ben Panangian.

Arrested: Schapelle Corby's boyfriend Ben Panangian. Photo: Supplied

Earlier, Corby's parole officer, Putu Andiyani, played down the danger the arrest would affect the Australian's parole.

"If it is her boyfriend, it will not affect her parole unless she was with him when the arrest happened," Ms Putu said.

Ms Putu said the Australian had "never revealed in her interviews that she has a boyfriend".

A spokesman for Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin also said that, as long as Corby was not at the scene of the arrest, "she's safe".

"As long as she's not doing anything wrong she's safe until she completes her term [on parole]," spokesman Goncang Rahardjo said.

Corby's parole became a highly political controversial issue in Indonesia, particularly when it was revealed she planned to do a paid TV interview with Channel Seven. 

Only if that issue flares again politically are there likely to be any calls to revoke her parole over the latest controversy.

Police have confirmed that Panangian, who they have officially only identified as "BPS" was arrested in Nusa Dua on August 20 about 6pm.

Police allege that he was seen on his motorbike approaching a house they were raiding as part of a drug bust.

When they approached him, police say he threw two packages on the road. The packages were later found to contain marijuana. A later raid on his home uncovered more of the drug in his wardrobe, police reportedly said.

Methamphetamines were allegedly found inside the house near where he was arrested, police say.

The owner of that house, identified only as TMY, was the main target of the raid, and is also in custody, along with Panangian and four other men. A total of 55.68 grams of marijuana were uncovered.

Corby was arrested at Bali airport in October 2004 with 4.2 kilograms of cannabis in her boogie board bag.

She has maintained her innocence.