Customs officials at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport have successfully thwarted four drug smuggling attempts between March and April of this year, a spokesman said Thursday, May 4.
The stings netted a total 10.7 kilograms of methamphetamine, known locally as sabu. Two attempts were made through smuggling in packages and the other two via passengers.
The first case on March 13 saw investigators from Customs and the Soekarno Hatta Airport Police confiscate 635 grams of sabu found hidden in a package of electronic chargers. The joint team conducted a controlled delivery of the package and arrested three suspects, identified as AI, RA and W, in Purwokerto, Central Java.
Erwin Situmorang, head of the Soekarno Hatta Customs office, said four other suspects were arrested following revelations of a prison-based distribution network.
Two weeks later on April 5 customs again discovered sabu hidden within charger packaging, netting a 4.6 kg haul. A woman, identified as YE, was arrested in South Jakarta in relation to the sting. She claimed to be under the control of her Nigerian-based husband.
“After developments in the investigation, the team captured R and seven other suspects who bought sabu from YE,” Situmorang said, as quoted by Bisnis.
The following week on April 4, customs officials arrested a suspect identified as N travelling from Hong Kong. Investigators found 19 capsules containing 292 grams of the drug carried inside the suspect. Officers arrested a woman with the initials LM on April 14 after she arrived from Malaysia.
“5.1 kg of sabu was hidden in packets of tea wrapped in her suitcase,” Situmorang said.
Based on information obtained by the suspect, a Pakistani national currently imprisoned in Jakarta identified as RH was also implicated in the ring.
Drug smuggling attracts a possible death sentence in Indonesia as well as fines of over Rp.10 billion (US$750,000) in cases involving over 1 kg of narcotics.