Jakarta. The National Narcotics Agency, or BNN, and the Ministry of Finance's Directorate General of Customs and Excise has seized 110.84 kilograms of methamphetamine, locally known as shabu, and 18,300 ecstasy pills from Malaysia, officials announced on Wednesday (08/02).
The cooperation of both institutions to uncover the network of drug dealers led to the capture of 12 drug smugglers in Medan, North Sumatra, and Aceh in a series of three arrests from Jan. 20 to Feb. 5, after receiving tip offs from locals.
"This is a concerted effort between the narcotics agency and customs officers, as well as people's concerns [of drugs]," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in a press conference in Jakarta.
In the first operation, a joint task force of narcotics agency and customs officers arrested two suspects, identified only by their initials MI (27) and AF (28), in Aceh with 7.2 kg methamphetamine and 300 ecstasy pills.
In North Sumatra, the task force apprehended the suspects, only identified by the initials B. (43), H.B. (33), S. (31), D.S. (47), M. (49), A.I. (26), B. (39) and J. (41), with a total of 87.7 kg of methamphetamine and 18,000 ecstasy pills.
The task force carried out the last arrest in Lhoksukon, North Aceh, capturing S.A. and M. with a total of 15.9 kg of meth.
The drugs were reportedly smuggled from Malaysia by boat.
According to BNN head Comr. Gen.Budi Waseso, the drug seizure has saved more than 570,000 Indonesians from drug use.
"We hope they will be charged according to the law; if they are sentenced to death, it must then be carried out soon," Budi said.
The suspected drug smugglers are facing multiple charges that carry a maximum penalty of death under Indonesia's 2009 Drugs Law.
The customs office has managed to seize 212.2 kg of narcotics in 49 cases so far this year.