New Zealand Police say they gave Kiwi Antony de Malmanche "travel advice" before he was arrested in Bali for allegedly trying to smuggle 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine.
A police spokesperson told ONE News family members expressed "concerns about his vulnerability while he was travelling".
"He was given sound commonsense travel advice designed to keep himself safe and to avoid situations where he might put himself at risk."
Mr de Malmanche, 52, was publicly paraded yesterday by Bali police, and could face the death penalty if found guilty of trying to smuggle methamphetamine, or P as it is known in New Zealand.
His son, Ashley, today told ONE News he believes his father has been duped.
He says his father recently met a woman on an online dating website and flew to Hong Kong to meet her. The pair were then due to be married in Bali, but travelled separately.
Ashley says he believes his father was set up.
Antony, a beneficiary, previously rented a home in Whanganui. His former landlord, Linda Mancer, was shocked by news of the arrest.
"I'd say he's got taken in by someone who has a lot of money. He's fallen for her. But I'm surprised he's done something like this, especially in a place like Bali," says Ms Mancer.
"He's a nice guy, warm hearted."
Local Whanganui dairy owner, Frank Yan, says de Malmanche was a keen fisherman and would often talk about his catch.
"He'd come into the shop, buy some milk and bread, talk about the weather, the fishing, high tide, low tide, what sort of fish he got in the past couple of days," Mr Yan says.
The New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta has contacted Bali police, requesting to speak with Antony.