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    Thursday, 4 January 2018

    Indonesia police make huge New Year's Eve marijuana bust

    Indonesian authorities have seized 1.3 tonnes of marijuana and arrested six people in a major drug bust on New Year’s Eve, police said Thursday.


    Authorities confiscated the drugs at a port near Lampung, on the southern tip of Sumatra island.
    The bricks of tightly-wrapped cannabis — which were displayed at a press conference Thursday — were found hidden inside several vehicles waiting to cross to West Java, local media reported.
    Six people were arrested in connection with the haul, but police have not provided a street value for the seized drugs.
    West Jakarta police chief Idham Aziz said drug-related cases in West Java — Indonesia’s most populous province — were increasing.
    “Narcotics cases between 2015-2017 are up 11.8 percent and the victims are mostly children and teenagers,” Aziz said at a press conference.
    The 35-year-old man, identified by his initials IER, was arrested by customs agents when he arrived at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on a flight from Bangkok on December 4.
    “Officers searched him and found five packages weighing around 19.97 grammes and 14 tablets, which lab tests indicated were crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy,” customs agent Husni Syaiful told a press conference Tuesday.
    The man could face the death penalty under Indonesia’s harsh anti-narcotics laws because he was allegedly caught trafficking more than five grammes of drugs.
    He was paraded before journalists with a Malaysian and an American — who are also facing drug charges in separate cases — wearing orange prison uniforms and balaclavas.
    The 30-year-old Malaysian man was arrested on arrival at Bali’s airport on November 8 after 3.03 grammes of marijuana and 0.65 grammes of cocaine were found in his wallet.
    The American man, identified as KSL, was arrested in connection with a package containing cannabis e-cigarette liquid seized by authorities at a Bali post office.
    Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws, with sentences including the death penalty for smugglers who carry five or more grammes.
    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, a case that sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the penalty.
    Bali officials said a lot of foreigners would attempt to smuggle drugs into the popular holiday destination with the new year approaching.
    “There are many parties held in Bali during the year-end celebration,” Syaiful said.



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