Sulawesi Police Arrest Five in Methamphetamine Raid

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Five people suspected of smuggling 29kg of methamphetamine from Malaysia to Indonesia have been arrested, Sulawesi Regional Police (Polda) said on Tuesday, 28/12.

Central Sulawesi Police Chief Rudy Sufahriadi said at a press conference that the five people are part of an international drug trafficking network and are Malaysian citizens.

According to Sufahriadi, a suspect arrested Saturday (25/12) told police where the methamphetamine was stored and said the drug came from China and was smuggled to Central Sulawesi by fishing boats from the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Sufahriadi said that further investigations following his arrest led to the arrest of four more people suspected of smuggling.

Police also confiscated a fishing boat, five mobile phones and a firearm belonging to the suspects.

They will face the possible death penalty if found guilty of drug trafficking under Indonesia’s Drug Enforcement Law, one of the strictest laws in the world.

Over the past two decades, readily available methamphetamine has replaced opium and heroin as the dominant illicit drugs in the region. Methamphetamine is smuggled into much of Southeast Asia, China and Australia, part of the billion-dollar illicit drug trade.

A remote forest area where the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand meet, the Golden Triangle was once the world’s main source of opium and heroin. In recent years, this region has become a major source of methamphetamine.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said late last year that the market value of methamphetamine in Asia was more than $60 billion. [ab/ka]

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