Police bust home drug
industry in North Jakarta

The Jakarta Police raided Thursday a house in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, being used as a drugs factory, and arrested two suspects in the process.

Police also seized 13.5 kilograms of chemical precursor for making Ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine.

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Wahyono said his office had received information about the drug-making
activity from a suspect arrested last Friday for possession and distribution of illegal drugs.

During last week’s arrest, police seized from the suspect’s boarding room in Mangga Dua and apartment in Sawah Besar, both in Central Jakarta, 75,000 Ecstasy pills, 25,000 nimetazepam pills, 2 kilograms of ketamine and 5 kilograms of crystal meth, with a street value of Rp 220 billion (US$23.8 million).

The suspect subsequently confessed to police that the drugs had all been produced at the house in Tanjung Priok, Wahyono said.

He added the suspects arrest Thursday had smuggled the crystal meth in from Cambodia in liquid form.

”The suspects soaked towels in a crystal meth solution, then brought the dried towels into the country,” he said, adding this was the first time police had chanced upon this method.

”They then used a special drier to re-crystallize the drugs.”

Data from the city police shows that throughout 2009, the police raided at least a dozen home-based drugs factories in Greater Jakarta, or a threefold increase from a year earlier.

Most of the factories have been in relatively affluent residential complexes, but in this latest case, the house in Tanjung Priok was in a more run-down neighborhood, Wahyono said.

“As a cover for their drug-making activity, the suspects told their neighbors they were running a business breeding aquarium fishes,” he said.

Last year, the city police handled a total of 5,841 drugs cases, down by 15 percent from the 6,942 cases registered a year earlier.

At least 19 police officers were arrested in 2009 for alleged involvement in various drug-related cases.

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