National

BNN cracks down on cops,
soldiers

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) stepped up its drive against drug trafficking and rounded up police personnel and Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers suspected to have backed drug syndicates.

The agency’s campaign has drawn the ire of the National Police because of the possibility that some top cops could be involved in drug trafficking.

In what could be seen as a move to undermine the BNN, a middle-ranking officer from the National Police’s Crime Division, identified as Comr. AD, allegedly stole files on the syndicate case from the BNN headquarters in Jakarta last Thursday.

The National Police was quick to defend AD’s move, claiming that he only took documents related to his salary.

“He took the documents on his own initiative, he did not received orders from his superior. The documents will be used to claim his salary from his tenure at the BNN,” National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hilman Thayib told a press conference in Jakarta.

AD served at the National Police narcotics division for eight months before being fired at the end of 2011. The BNN accused him of lending the agency’s badge to Andre Syamsul Malik, a drug suspect, to ensure the smooth running of his business.

Since February this year, AD has served as a detective with the economic crime division.

Hilman denied the document theft was related to the force’s investigation into the alleged power abuse by BNN operations deputy Insp. Gen. Benny Mamoto.

A businesswoman identified as Helena, owner of a currency exchange firm PT SMC, filed a report accusing Benny of wrongfully blocking her company’s bank accounts over the suspicion they were used to pool funds from illicit businesses.

“We have accepted her report, but we have not taken any measures because the BNN is still investigating [Helena’s] money laundering case,” Hilman said.

News reports said that AD got close to Helena during his tenure at the narcotics agency and he was part of a team investigating a drug case Helena was implicated in.

The document theft case is now being handled by the force’s economic crime division.

“We ordered him to go home after questioning him. We have coordinated with the Internal Affairs Division. I hope this case is handled objectively, not based on assumptions,” the economic crime division head Brig. Gen. Arief Sulistyanto said.

BNN spokesman Sr. Comr. Sumirat Dwiyanto declined to comment on the police’s claims.

Meanwhile, the antidrug agency is continuing its investigation into a drug ring that implicated two low-ranking officers of the Indonesian Air Force in Pekanbaru, Riau.

Sumirat said the officers, identified as Major Sgt. BW and Second Sgt. RY, were arrested on July 2 for possession of 301 ecstasy pills.

The BNN also detained five individuals who allegedly belonged to the same drug network. In total, the BNN confiscated 430 ecstasy pills, 97 nimetazepam pills (also known as Happy Five pills) and 514.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

The agency’s preliminary investigation found that BW had huge assets, including a luxury house, a restaurant, an oil palm plantation and a Kawasaki motorcycle dealership.

Sumirat said that the BNN, in close coordination with the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), could freeze the assets of BW and RY.

“In this case, aside from the drug charges, the BNN will handle the money laundering accusations,” he said.

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