The Jakarta Post
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 tempo.co 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)