Ten Iranians arrested in four drug busts at airport
Customs and excise officers have foiled four drug smuggling attempts and arrested 10 Iranian suspects within the past two days at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
Officers arrested eight women and two men, who arrived at the airport aboard different flights on Monday and Tuesday. The 10 brought in around 40 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (or shabu-shabu) in liquid and crystal form worth Rp 102 billion (US$10.8 million), director general of customs and excise Anwar Supriadi said.
"This is the biggest smuggling attempt with a new modus operandi that officers have ever foiled at the airport," Anwar told reporters at a media briefing at the airport Wednesday. The suspects, who were paraded at the briefing, along with the evidence have been handed over to the National Police's drugs directorate for further investigation.
Anwar said he had alerted customs officers at other international airports.
"We have already told customs officers at other international airports, such as Polonia in Medan, Juanda in Surabaya and I Gusti Ngurah Rai in Bali, to be on the alert because there may be similar smuggling attempts through the airports," he added.
Soekarno-Hatta Airport Customs Office head Bahaduri Wijayanta said three suspects identified as MRN (a man), KMS and MS arrived from Malaysia onboard Malaysian Airline's flight MH 721 at 3 p.m. on Monday.
"Scanning devices at the checkpoints showed strange objects in their luggage. Officers opened the luggage and found 9,872 grams of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp 21.7 billion wrapped in 15 food containers," he said.
A mere eight minutes later, officers arrested four passengers off Emirates flight EK 356 with 16,980 grams of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp 37.3 billion wrapped in 28 food containers in their luggage.
An hour later, officers confiscated 17.5 liters of crystal methamphetamine in liquid form worth Rp 33 billion and arrested two more suspects identified as FAD and MBS. The latter arrived at the airport aboard Qatar Airways flight QR 638.
"This is the greatest success our officers have ever had because we have foiled three drug smuggling attempts, worth a total of Rp 91 billion, within two hours," Wijayanta said.
On Tuesday, officers intercepted 5.3 liters of liquid crystal methamphetamine worth Rp 10 billion smuggled in bottles of ceramic cleaner and arrested an Iranian suspect, identified as JV. JV flew from Doha on Qatar Airways QR 638 and arrived at the airport Tuesday afternoon.
Bahaduri said the suspects had violated Articles 102 and 103 of the 1997 law on psychotropic substances, which carries a maximum punishment of a 10-year prison term.
Multa Fidrus , The Jakarta Post ,Tangerang Thu, 10/22/2009 12:06 PM
I billion indonesian rupiahs= approximateley $106.000USD
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