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Russian fugitive arrested in Bali after fleeing deportation

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) – A Russian listed by Interpol as a returning fugitive was arrested on Wednesday on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali after 13 days on the run with his partner to avoid deportation, officials said.

Andrei Kovalenka, who used the pseudonym Andrew Ayer, was arrested in 2019 and found guilty of possession of more than 500 grams of hash. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, although generally the charge carries a minimum of four years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

After serving his sentence, he was awaiting deportation to Russia on February 11 when he escaped during a transfer from one immigration center to another when he was visited by his partner Russian Ekaterina Trubkina, police said.

Eka Budianto, head of Bali’s immigration division, said the two were arrested at a villa early Wednesday after changing locations to avoid detection.

They are awaiting their deportation to Russia. Police declined to say what charges Kovalenka was wanted on the basis of the Interpol opinion. The Interpol Red Notice website does not list anyone with this name.

Police said neither face additional charges in Indonesia.

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