A boat carrying a record 1.6 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine was intercepted near the Riau Islands by Indonesian authorities on Tuesday, February 20. The boat was falsely flying the Singapore flag.
It was the second drug-loaded vessel caught this month to be falsely flying a Singapore flag.
An Indonesian maritime police and Customs office joint patrol captured the vessel near Helen Mar Reef, in the vicinity of the Singapore Strait.
According to a statement from the Indonesian police and Customs office, the fishing boat, carrying crystal methamphetamine in rice sacks, came from Taiwan. All four crew members are Chinese nationals.
“The drugs were stuffed in 81 rice sacks and each sack contained 20kg,” the statement said, listing the names of the Chinese nationals.
Just two weeks ago on February 7, the Indonesian navy captured a fishing boat, coming from Taiwan as well, loaded with one tonne of crystal methamphetamine in 41 rice sacks off the waters of Batam. The boat was also falsely flying a Singapore flag.
The crackdown on trafficking by Indonesia comes amid the soaring consumption of illegal narcotics in the country.
In January, Indonesian police and Customs officers captured a shipment of 66 kilograms of methamphetamine, known by its street names ‘Shabu-shabu’ or ‘Ice’.
Indonesia is one of 33 countries in the world that enforce capital punishment for drug-related offences. However, the country has still struggled to contain the rampant drug problem.
Source: Straits Times
Photo courtesy of Straitstimes.com