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High-flying nightclub identity facing 12 years in a Bali jail over drug offences

‘I’m no Schapelle Corby’: Nightclub identity facing 12 years in a Bali jail over drug offences says he travelled to Indonesia to ‘escape his demons’

  • William Cabantog, 36, was arrested for allegedly possessing cocaine on July 9
  • David Van lersel, 38, was also arrested during the night club raid at 2.30am
  • Cabantog says he took the trip to ‘escape demons’ he has battled for years
  • Both men face a maximum of 12 years in prison if convicted for drug dealing
  • The sentence will be cut if they can convince the court they are drug addicts 

A nightclub identity who is facing 12 years in a squalid Bali jail said he travelled to Indonesia to ‘escape’ mental health issues that drove him to drug addiction. 

William Cabantog, 36, pictured being escorted by a court officer at Denpensar District court last week

Melbourne club promoter William Cabantog, 36, was arrested on July 9 for alleged cocaine possession at Lost City Nightclub in resort precinct, Canggu.  

But Cabantog says he is not like convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby because he battles drug addiction induced by years of depression, anxiety and PTSD. 

‘I came to Bali for a better life, to get away from my demons,’ Cabantog told the Herald Sun.

‘I failed and got caught up with the wrong people. I’m not a bad guy, I’m not a drug dealer.   

‘I made a mistake. I’m deeply sorry for it.’ 

He was arrested alongside fellow Melburnian David Van Iersel, 38, during early morning raids on clubs and houses in the area. 

Police allege they found 1.12g of cocaine in Cabantog’s pants pocket, plus a pair of electric scales and both men later returned positive urine tests. 

They face a maximum of 12 years behind bars if convicted which will be heavily reduced to four if they can convince the court they are drug addicts, not dealers. 

The trial begins on Wednesday. 

During an appearance at Depensar District last week Cabantog’s lawyer argued he had used cocaine since he was 20 years old in Australia. 

William pictured with his girlfriend Wilma Johansson at a Canggu resort in March just months before his arrest

William pictured with his girlfriend Wilma Johansson at a Canggu resort in March just months before his arrest

He has begged for rehabilitation for his drug abuse and mental health issues.  

At the time of the raid, Long City had been open less than four months and was advertising itself as a place for ‘bangerz, dope beats, and good vibes’.  

Canbantog said the public scrutiny is ‘destroying his family’, who moved from the Philippines to Ascot Vale for a better life. 

He began working in the Melbourne hospitality scene aged 15, eventually adding hot spots Eve, Bond, Baroq and Club 23 to his resume. 

He claims the vibrant night-life scene was a gateway into illicit substance abuse. 

Cabantog says he is not like convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby (pictured) because he battles drug addiction induced by years of depression, anxiety and PTSD

Cabantog says he is not like convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby (pictured) because he battles drug addiction induced by years of depression, anxiety and PTSD

His social media is painted with ritzy events and celebrity selfies, including a photo taken with AFL star Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins in October 2018. It is not alleged Cummins had any involvement with using illicit substances.

Cabantog spent four months detained at a police station after his arrest where he slept in a windowless room on a yoga mat.

Last month he was moved to the infamous Kerobokan Prison which has 1600 prisoners despite its 300 capacity.

Kerobokan has also housed famous Australian drug smugglers Schapelle Corby, Bali nine members Matthew Norman and Renae Lawrence. 

Cabantog pictured with AFL star Nick 'Honey Badger' Cummins Bond Bar nightclub last October following the AFL Grand Final

Cabantog pictured with AFL star Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins Bond Bar nightclub last October following the AFL Grand Final 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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