The Jakarta Post
National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti visited the Jakarta Police Headquarters on Wednesday to show his appreciation for the city police's seizure of 360 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp 574.4 billion (US$42.5 million) in North Jakarta, the second-biggest drugs haul this year.
Speaking at a press conference Badrodin disclosed the police had arrested two drug traffickers, identified only as CT and MW, as they were about to hand over the drugs, known locally as shabu-shabu.
Badrodin said the traffickers were connected to a drug syndicate in China.
'The suspects were arrested in an apartment in Pluit, North Jakarta,' said the police chief.
Badrodin did not describe in detail how the syndicate smuggled the shabu-shabu into Indonesia. He hinted the drugs might have been transported via Malaysia as has been the case in previous smuggling attempts.
Citing the prevailing law, the police chief hinted that the suspects could face the death penalty as well as a maximum fine of Rp 10 billion.
'We will also charge them with money laundering,' said Badrodin.
Police will coordinate with Chinese police in the case as the drugs originated in China. He added that police wanted to apprehend the mastermind behind the operation.
'They are only pawns. The main players are overseas,' Badrodin said.
The general expressed his satisfaction with the haul in light of what the government has described as an emergency situation related to drugs in the country. The government has executed several drug traffickers in its war against drug smuggling this year.
'This syndicate is likely to have been the same group that we also foiled in March.'
'From what we have seized, the police have saved the lives of 1.8 million people,' said Badrodin.
Separately, the Jakarta Police's narcotics directorate head Eko Daniyanto explained that CT, a resident of Hong Kong, was caught in Pluit on Friday with 10 kg and 350 kg of shabu-shabu, respectively, in a motorcycle and an MPV car.
According to Eko, the police arrested CT as he was about to leave the area to conduct the transaction with MW in a coffee shop in North Jakarta. The latter was also arrested.
'This syndicate is likely to have been the same group that we also foiled in March,' said Eko without further eloboration.
In January this year, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) busted a syndicate consisting of nine people in a wholesale market in Kalideres, West Jakarta, for possessing 840 kg of shabu-shabu.
One of the suspects, known as Wong Ching Ping, had allegedly prepared a well-organized plan to smuggle shabu-shabu from Hong Kong to Indonesia. Ping packed the drugs into 1 kg coffee containers, and then mixed it with real coffee. (agn)