Monday, 07 May, 2012 | 15:24 WIB
Drug Lords of West Jakarta’s Kampung Ambon
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Kampung Ambon in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, is a haven for drug users. Methamphetamine and ecstasy pills and heroin are available round the clock.
Tempo's special report in its May 7 edition reveals that Kampung Ambon has been a burgeoning drug market since the 90s. Before only marijuana was sold. Since 2002, more varieties are available. "From Inex (pills) to heroin," said Toto, a former drug user who frequents the area.
The Bekasi resident comfortably uses narcotics there because it is safe from police raids. Sellers would promptly tip the clients when raids are coming. "That's why artists and officials often come here,” he said, mentioning several names, among others, a comedian who is a daily fixture on the national TV.
Despite repeated police raids, the drug business in this area, allegedly overseen by arrested top drug suspect Irene Sophie Tupessy-- a woman dubbed as Kill Bill for allegedly arranging an attack on the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital - carries on.
Chief of RT 05, Sandy Pasaneasia, called the operations "mock raids,” saying stalls usually raided are owned by small scale traders. According to Sandy, each small stall earns a daily net profit of up to Rp 30 million. There are around 30 drug stalls in houses scattered across RT 01 to 07 within the Permata housing complex, almost entirely occupied by Ambon natives. “Police usually leak the news of the raids,” Sandy told Tempo.
Director of Operations of National Narcotics Agency Benny Mamoto did not deny these allegations. He said his office and police are aware that there are officials involved in the drug trade, not only as users but also as traffickers. And there are invisible hands behind these mischievous officers, he said.
Romylus Tamtelahitu, who once researched the area, said Michael Glenn Manuputty, 40, is to be credited with building the solidarity among the residents. According to a Tempo's source, even one of Jakarta’s notorious gangsters, John Kei, could not get anywhere near the Kampung Ambon bosses. “Michael is the Godfather of Kampung Ambon,” Romylus said.
Michael was arrested mid July 2009 in South Tangerang, and subsequently sentenced to life. The Godfather title was later transferred to Irene and her brother Edward Hunok Tupessy or Edo. But, Irene and her husband Heriyanto denied that. "Is there a drug dealer who can't pay her child's tuition payment for two months? We used to have a stall but it was in the past,” he said. *****