Indonesia police seize meth worth $108m, arrest 17

Police guarding bags of seized methamphetamine during a press conference in Jakarta, on April 28, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesian police said on Wednesday (April 28) that they have smashed a drug smuggling ring that moved 2.5 tonnes of methamphetamine into the country from Afghanistan, a haul worth about US$82 million (S$108 million).

One Indonesian suspect was shot dead while 17 others, including a Nigerian, were arrested during a series of police raids in Sumatra's Aceh province and the capital Jakarta in recent weeks, they said.

Some of the meth had been placed inside food containers and then hidden in boats or lockers on land.

The haul was displayed in piles at a Jakarta press briefing on Wednesday.

Some of the suspects who were arrested are already in prison on drugs offences, including a number condemned to die for trafficking under Indonesia's tough drug laws, the police said, without giving details.

The incarcerated suspects were key players in the drugs ring from behind bars, they added.

The South-east Asian archipelago has become a key destination and transit point for international drug trafficking.

In 2018, Indonesian police said two separate busts resulted in the seizure of about three tonnes of methamphetamine coming from Taiwan.

This month, 13 members of a trafficking ring, including three Iranians and a Pakistani, were sentenced to die for smuggling 400kg of methamphetamine into Indonesia.

Several foreign and Indonesian nationals have been executed by firing squad in recent years for drug trafficking, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in 2015.

The pair were the accused ringleaders of the Bali Nine heroin gang.

Some of the meth had been placed inside food containers and then hidden in boats or lockers on land. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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