The Customs and Excise Directorate Office recorded that drug smuggling attempts via Soekarno-Hatta International Airport were dominated by Malaysian drugs syndicates, followed by Thailand and India.
The office recorded that 85 percent or 31 out of 59 drug-smuggling attempts, which were foiled this year, hailed from Malaysia.
“The number of suspects arrested in those cases totaled 55 people, 41 of whom were Indonesians,” said Heru Sulastyono, head of the Customs and Excise Office intelligence sub-directorate, at the airport on Thursday.
“In general, Malaysian drug syndicates organize drug transactions with the assistance of Indonesian couriers, whom they believe can pave the way toward smuggling various drugs,” said Heru.
He said the majority of attempted drug smuggling cases at the airport took place on Sundays, when the number of travelers increased leading drug smugglers to believe their couriers could escape custom officers’ attention.
Heru said Soekarno-Hatta airport was the first choice of entry for drug smugglers, followed by Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and Batam Airport.
Oza Olivia, head customs officer at the airport, said that the number of smuggling attempts through Soekarno-Hatta had continued to rise during the past four years.
In 2008, officers foiled 16 drug-smuggling attempts. In 2009, the figure increased to 39 cases. The number rose again in 2010, when 63 attempts were thwarted but dropped slightly to 52 in 2011.
“As of April 25 this year, we have foiled 17 drug-smuggling attempts,” she told The Jakarta Post.
Several methods used by drug syndicates to conceal their consignments have included swallowing drugs contained in capsules; strapping drugs to one’s body; hiding drugs in hidden compartments in luggage bags; water filter tubes; car engine spare parts; telephones; sandal/shoe heels; and cosmetics containers. The latest foiled attempt revealed drugs hidden in the frame of a calligraphy painting. (iwa)