Indonesian police have conducted a series of raids on an international smuggling ring, resulting in the death of one suspect and arrest of 18 others, as officials seized 2.5 tonnes of crystal meth, worth around US$82 million.
The successful operation was announced by National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo after authorities raided three areas in Jakarta, Aceh and Sumatra, discovering the sizeable drug haul of 2.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine.
One individual was shot dead by police while resisting arrest and 18 were detained, including one Nigerian and 17 Indonesians, with police linking them to six people already serving time in prison for similar offenses.
The police launched the raids on Wednesday, a month after Indonesia’s head of criminal investigations at the national police, Agus Andrianto, stated that officials were aware of drugs that had illegally entered the country from Afghanistan, having been shipped via Malaysia.
Indonesia has severe criminal penalties for individuals caught possessing or distributing narcotics, with drug trafficking offenses carrying the death penalty. Many of those awaiting execution by firing squad on Indonesia’s death row were convicted of drug-related crimes, including foreigners.
Countries within the region have increased operations in recent weeks. Neighboring Singapore’s anti-narcotics authority seized the country’s largest haul of drugs in 25 years, capturing around US$1.7 million worth of cannabis, heroin, methamphetamine and ecstasy.
Similarly, Malaysian officials reported the country’s largest ever haul of narcotics after intercepting a shipment from the Middle East that contained US $1.2 billion of amphetamine pills in what officials called “the biggest success in fighting international drug cartels.”