Australians arrested in Bolivia accused of trying to board flight with explosives

Natasha Christian and agencies

Three Australians on the holiday of a lifetime were arrested at a Bolivian airport after explosives were found in one of their backpacks.

Julian Giovanni Vicenzo Musumeci, 24, Justin Maurice Kwong Wei Sun, 25, and Liam Mark Eales, 25, were reported by Bolivian and Brazilian media as being held in custody awaiting a judge's orders after their arrest last week.

It’s understood two of the men have since been released but remain in Bolivia, while the remaining man awaits trial.

The three were stopped on November 12 at Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz de La Sierra as they were preparing to board flight G3 7601.
Authorities have been on high alert due to the 2016 Olympics.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra confirmed they were providing consular assistance to the men and "due to privacy reasons we will not be making further comment".

Newspaper El Deber reported a backpack alleged to belong to Musumeci contained "a dynamite canister, a detonator and a bag of pink granules yet to be identified".

Photo: Bolivian media report a backpack allegedly had a dynamite canister inside.

Liam Eales father told Fairfax his son had not been charged and was free to leave – but had been asked to stay by the lawyer for the charged man.

"It's just been a lot of crap quite frankly, a lot of bullshit about nothing, from Liam's point of view," Geoff Eales said. "He's done absolutely nothing wrong, he's got nothing to answer for."

He said his son had boarded the plane without incident and he had gone back to be with his friend.

"He's been asked to wait around until his friend goes through his court case. That will be happening shortly. His friend is out of jail as well. That's all I know."

The carrying of explosives at Bolivian airports carries a jail sentence of three to five years.