Batam authorities seize 66kg of Jakarta-bound drugs, officials believe Singapore was possible transit point

Riau Islands Provincial police chief, Inspector-General Didid Widiadi (centre, wearing rubber gloves), showing seized illicit drugs in a press conference at the Hang Nadim airport's cargo terminal on Jan 29, 2018. PHOTO: F. PANGESTU
Officers escorting two suspected couriers who were to pick up the shipment of drugs. They were arrested and taken away for police interrogation. PHOTO: F. PANGESTU

JAKARTA - The authorities in Batam have made a big drug bust, confiscating a shipment of 66kg of crystal meth to Jakarta.

Batam police and customs officials uncovered the highly addictive drug, known locally as shabu-shabu, stuffed in tea and detergent sacks. They were destined for Jakarta and officials believe Batam and Singapore could have been the transit points.

"The arrangement was that the shabu-shabu were shipped from Singapore to Batam by sea and then flown to Jakarta by air. We played along with their plan and arrested them in Jakarta," Riau Islands provincial police chief, Inspector-General Didid Widiadi, told reporters at the Hang Nadim airport's cargo terminal on Monday (Jan 29).

The police general added that the drugs would have been distributed elsewhere in Indonesia, including to Medan in North Sumatra province, and cities in Kalimantan on Borneo.

Two people were arrested on Jan 24 in connection with the case.

Both are believed to be couriers who turned up to pick up the shipment in Jakarta on behalf of a company only known by its initials DC.

Investigations are continuing into who arranged for the shipment, said Colonel Yani Sudarto, director for illicit drug investigation at the Riau Islands provincial police.

"There are many illegal routes between Singapore and Batam," Col Yani said, adding that Indonesian police had informed Singapore authorities about the latest seizure.

Under Indonesian law, the two men arrested face a maximum of 20 years' jail if convicted.

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