Plant that led to Swiss man’s drug arrest was not marijuana, police admit

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Smile for the camera! The arrest of the Swiss man for the single supposed marijuana plant seemed to be the occasion for a large group excursion, with several officers and many more apparent civilians in attendance. Photograph via the Panglao police Facebook page.

A Swiss man arrested in Panglao for possessing drugs has been released after a plant on his windowsill was found not to be marijuana.

Maik Kruesi, aged 32, was detained on Thursday (December  27) after neighbours reported seeing the plant growing in full view of the street.

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Photographs of the arrest shared on Facebook by Panglao Police showed several officers and a number of civilians proudly posing with Mr Kruesi and the single spindly plant.

As we previously reported, the Swiss man told officers that a friend gave him the plant as a sapling, and he did not know that it was an illegal drug. For this reason, he had not thought twice about keeping it in public view in the window of his apartment in Barangay Danao.

Today (Monday, December 31), Gregorio Perocho of Panglao Police Station confirmed that Mr Kruesi was released from detention on Friday after test results indicated that the plant was not marijuana.

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The plant was examined twice at a police crime lab, and both times tested negative for cannabis. The authorities have not yet been able to positively identify what species it is.

A case filed against Mr Kruesi before the prosecutor’s office under section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs) of Republic Act 9165 has been dismissed and he faces no further action. 

Kruesi’s arrest came on the same day as a 38-year-old Polish man was arrested for possession of marijuana on Siquijor Island.

As we previously reported, Piotr Galewski was taken into detention after a 5am raid on his residence by anti-narcotics police supported by a SWAT team. Under RA 9165, if he is found guilty of possessing more than five grams of the drug, he could face life imprisonment.

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