JAKARTA — Indonesian police believe they have crippled an international syndicate that uses mineral water bottles to smuggle drugs into the republic.
The syndicate’s modus operandi was uncovered by authorities following the arrest of five of its members, including a Malaysian woman at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport here on October 13-14.
Online media quoted Soekarno-Hatta International Airport deputy police chief Risnanto as saying that a Malaysian woman was detained by Customs authorities on Oct. 13 after she was observed to be acting in a suspicious manner.
He said an inspection on the woman’s baggage found two bottles of mineral water packed neatly in a box. A test on the mineral water revealed that it contained 3.160 kg. of liquid methamphetamine.
A day after the arrest of the Malaysian woman, police and Customs officials detained two Indonesian women who had just landed at the same airport from Hong Kong and seized 12 mineral bottles that were neatly packed in a box.
A test on the water in the 12 bottles found that they contained 18.9 kg. of liquid methamphetamine.
Each bottle could fill 1.5 liters of mineral water and if the liquid meth in all 14 bottles is heated, it can produce shabu powder weighing 22 kg., according to Risnanto.
He said the two other syndicate members who police subsequently detained were a Pakistani and an Indonesian who acted as receiver and handler, respectively at the airport.
All five have been remanded pending prosecution under Indonesia’s drug law which carries the death penalty.
On Friday, two Malaysians — a university student and a sports official — were detained at the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali after being found with 100 pills of a synthetic drug and more than 70 g. of cannabis.
The Indonesian government is going all out to combat the drug menace after President Joko Widodo declared the republic in a state of emergency against drugs. PNA/Bernama-northboundasia.com