Snowing in Bali

The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World



Kyle and Jackie O interview Kathryn Bonella about Snowing in Bali

Snowing in Bali exposes the incredible inside story of Bali’s hidden drug world.

It’s snowing in Bali. Among Bali’s drug dealers it’s the code for a huge cocaine shipment having just landed. For the men who run the country’s drug empires, it’s time to get rich and party hard.

The compelling new book Snowing in Bali tells the story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that’s made the holiday island one of the world’s most important destinations in the global distribution of narcotics. With its central location to the Asia Pacific market, its thriving tourism to act as cover for importation, and a culture of endemic corruption that can easily mean police will turn a blind eye, Bali has long been a paradise for traffickers.

Kathryn Bonella, bestselling author of the book “Hotel Kerobokan” (Hotel K) has been given extraordinary access into the lives of some of the biggest players in Bali’s drug world. In this latest book, she charts their rise to incredible wealth and power, and shows their drug-fuelled lifestyles, filled with orgies, outrageous extravagance and surfing. But running a global drug empires from Indonesia is a high risk, with dire consequences for those caught – two traffickers Kathryn spoke to for Snowing in Bali have since been executed (2015).

From the highs of multi-million dollar deals to the desperate lows of death row, Snowing in Bali is a ground breaking book, giving an uncensored insight into Bali’s hidden world.

Snowing in Bali is Kathryn’s third best-seller in her Bali trilogy.


Marco – lemon juice king

I’ve been playing narcotics in Brazil for a long time. My friend Beto put me in this business when I was a little boy. He pushed me to get cocaine, not for business – he’s a user. He would bring me to the bottom of the favela, stop the car far away, and say, ‘Go.’ Then I walk up 20 minutes, all the way to the top of the mountain with my schoolbag, past 20 dangerous policemen with guns. At the top they call . . . ‘Little boy, what you want? Black or white?’ Black is marijuana, white is cocaine. ‘I want white.’ ‘Ooh, good boy.’ I say, ‘I like cocaine.’ Bullshit. I never used the cocaine. I was a little boy, I was a child. I go up with my lunchbox and come down with a stack of cocaine for my friend.
– Marco

It wasn’t long before Marco was doing much more than filling up his lunchbox. Starting to hang-glide at just 14 years, he quickly realised a natural talent. By 16 years he was competing internationally, with his first overseas trip to Bogotá, Colombia, Pablo Escobar’s turf. Marco won and flew home with a gold trophy in his hands and white snow in his pants.
Beto told me, ‘Marco, take this.’ So I arrive back in Brazil with seven hang-gliding pilots, a trophy and 100 grams of cocaine in my underwear. Nobody checked anything.
– Marco

To Marco it was the perfect set-up; trafficking drugs gave him the means to fly, and flying gave him the means to traffic. It catapulted him into a playboy lifestyle. On his second overseas trip to America, at 17, his career of commercial trafficking began.
Believe me, when I go to California there is [a man like] Pablo Escobar – a boss, selling drugs around Brazil, around the world – he came to me and says, ‘Marco, now listen to me. You go to America. I have many friends in America, international, so you can make more money.’ I take 3 kilos the first time, came through easy. There is another Pablo Escobar . . . came to my hang-glider.
I compete everywhere in the world and always I bring narcoba [drugs]. I take cocaine to America, to Italy, to Spain, to Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, everywhere. I’m a Brazilian champion, so when I come, they check but they don’t really check.
– Marco

The trafficking gave Marco his own cash for the first time. It gave him freedom to fly, and he would often soar in the skies above Rio, sometimes 3000 feet up – so high that the arms of the famous statue of Christ would fade out, then disappear. Sometimes he’d circle with 10 or 20 others, flying close for a chat, before swooping through the sky like a god – with adrenalin in his veins and peace in his heart. Often, to enhance the bliss and awe, he’d smoke a joint before launching off.
Ooh, it’s the best you know; a very good sensation if you smoke a joint to fly. Wow. I always smoke and fly, smoke and fly, you know, like meditation. I have flown many places in your country, you know. I fly everywhere over there: Adelaide, Stanwell Park, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, I fly everywhere. I fly competition for 12 years, I always carry some cocaine.
– Marco


Snowing in Bali

The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World

© 2017 Kathryn Bonella. All Rights Reserved.  -