TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The East Java Police seized 15 kilograms of crystal meth smuggled from Malaysia and packed in a tea bag from two suspected drug dealers that the local police anti-drug squad personnel recently arrested.
"The suspects belong to a Malaysian drug ring. They have smuggled the illicit drugs into Indonesia twice," East Java Police Chief Inspector General, Luki Hermawan, told journalists in Surabaya, the capital of East Java Province, on Monday.
The suspects, identified as Chee Kim Tiong (40) and Lau Chu Hee (39), escaped the police during their first delivery but were apprehended while attempting to smuggle 15 kg of crystal meth that they packed in a tea bag, he said.
Both Tiong and Hee were believed to belong to a trans-national drug ring. They played a role in smuggling the drugs into Indonesia.
They even escorted the delivery from Myanmar to the Malaysian city of Kuching to then be transported to Pontianak, Pangkalan Bun, and Tanjung Perak Seaport in Surabaya. "We confiscated the crystal meth package at the Tanjung Perak Seaport," he said.
According to Che Kim Tiong, he was ordered by "Mr Po", a resident of Kuching, to smuggle 15 kg of crystal meth into Indonesia. He had carried out the smuggling activities once before. Each of the packages that he smuggled contained 15 kg of crystal meth.
Tiong told the police investigators that Mr Po paid him MYR40,000 or Rp133 million, while Lhau Chu Hee, who acted as a courier, received a payment of MYR7,000 or Rp23 million.
Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, as several individuals from its working-age population have been embroiled in a vicious circle.
Both domestic and transnational drug dealers perceive Indonesia as one of their potential markets due to its large population and millions of drug users. The drug trade in the country is estimated to reach nearly Rp66 trillion.
According to the National Narcotics Agency's (BNN's) report, some 50 drug use-related deaths occur in a day in Indonesia. However, their deaths have failed to deter other drug users in the country from consuming these banned substances.
Users of crystal meth, narcotics, marijuana, and other addictive drugs transcend communities and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.