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Jakarta Post

Police bust group selling drugs on Instagram

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 2, 2017   /   03:10 pm
Police bust group selling drugs on Instagram The Jakarta Police has arrested a group of drug dealers targeting electronic cigarette smokers, a senior narcotics officer said on Tuesday. (Shuterstock/File)

The Jakarta Police has arrested a group of drug dealers targeting electronic cigarette smokers, a senior narcotics officer has said. The arrests were made as a result of an undercover investigation into a suspicious Instagram account.

Jakarta Police narcotics unit head Adj. Sr. Comr. Gideon Arif Setiawan said the investigation into the social media account indicated that the account administrator was marketing e-liquid containing drugs. Three weeks ago, an officer from the unit pretended to act as a customer to uncover the operation.

E-liquid, also called e-juice, is the liquid vaporized by e-cigarette devices and is sold in bottles of varying volumes.

“The deal made was a 60-milliliter bottle of e-liquid for Rp 2.5 million [US$187],” Gideon said as quoted by on Tuesday.  

The money was transferred to a bank account under the name Gantes Wattimuri. Gantes then asked his partner Martino Saputra to deliver the e-liquid order to the vicinity of Al-Azhar University in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, the police said.

Martino was arrested with three 5 ml bottles of e-liquid. The information he provided to police led them to Gantes, who was arrested at a boarding house in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta. The police confiscated 27 bottles, each containing 5 ml of e-liquid, from the premises.

Gideon said Gantes obtained the bottles from his partner, Kurniawan Hidayat, who was arrested at the Plaza Semanggi shopping center in South Jakarta.  

The bottles of e-liquid contained synthetic narcotics, said Gideon, adding that the group had been marketing the drugs as e-liquid for two months and around 30 people had ordered them during the period.

The unit’s sub-directorate head, Adj. Sr. Comr. Doni Alexander, said the effect of vaping the e-liquid was similar to the effect of smoking marijuana.

The police are now investigating into the producer of the doctored e-liquid and whether it was produced in Indonesia.

Gantes, Martino and Gideon have been charged with the 1997 Narcotics Law, which carries a maximum life sentence or the death penalty. (wnd)