The Jakarta Post
The Palembang District Court in South Sumatra sentenced nine people to death on Thursday after finding them guilty of transporting 80 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.
According to the hearings of the trial, the convicts, all of whom originally come from Surabaya, East Java, were caught transporting drugs from Palembang to Java between March and April of 2018. They transported them using a truck that was loaded with cassava as a cover.
The police first arrested three who had left 3.5 kilograms of the crystal meth at a Palembang airport, which led to the arrest of five others at a hotel in Surabaya, where they were found with 5.8 kilograms of meth and 4,950 ecstasy pills.
The leader of the group, Letto, is 25 while most of the other members are in their 20s.
“What the defendants have done is they have damaged the youth and the government is currently waging a war on drugs,” said jugde Efrata Tarigan.
They were all sentenced to death despite prosecutors' earlier demand of a life sentence.
South Sumatra Police narcotics unit deputy director Adj. Sr. Comr. Amazona Pelamonia said the sentence should serve as a warning to other drug dealers operating in Palembang.
“They are a syndicate from Surabaya that was caught after a lengthy investigation,” Amazona said on Friday. “The death penalty will create a deterrent effect and serves as a warning to other [drug traffickers].”
Amazona added that South Sumatra had potential routes for drug syndicates because of its developed land transportation infrastructure and the availability of interprovincial flights.
Arif Rahman, a lawyer of the defendants, said he would appeal the verdict, saying that the convicts were “victims” of a drug syndicate.
“Maybe the judges had other considerations that pushed them to sentence all of my clients to death,” Arif said. (mai)