Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Attempts to smuggle large quantities of drugs repeatedly into the country had reached an unprecedented level, House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo stated.

"I urge the police to thoroughly investigate the syndicates of drug networks operating in Indonesia," Soesatyo noted in a written statement in Jakarta on Saturday.

Soesatyo made the statement in response to the attempt to smuggle in three tons of meth aboard a Taiwanese-flagged fishing boat from Myanmar in the waters of the Riau Islands of Sumatra.

This attempt to smuggle a huge quantity of meth was thwarted by the Riau Islands Customs Team. Soesatyo also lauded the Riau Islands Customs Team that had successfully foiled the efforts to smuggle three tons of meth, locally known as sabu-sabu.

The House Speaker said the Chinese intelligence had provided information to the National Narcotics Agency on the attempt to smuggle meth into Indonesia.

According to the information, some five tons of meth worth Rp10 trillion was to be smuggled into Indonesia.

The first attempt to smuggle one ton of the illegal drug was earlier foiled in the waters of Batam, Riau Island Province. The second consignment of 1.6 tons was also seized in the waters of Batam last week, and the third catch of three tons was confiscated on Friday (Feb 23) in the waters of Batam Island.

Soesatyo called on the police to take legal action, not only against the crew members who served only as couriers but also against drug lords.

"Legal action must be taken not only against the crew members but also against those behind the syndicate," Soesatyo emphasized.

Earlier, a Singapore-flagged ship, allegedly carrying 1.6 tons of methamphetamine, was seized by Indonesia`s customs officers in Anambas waters of Riau Islands.

The vessel, with four Chinese crews, carried the illegal drugs in 81 sacks, with each sack containing 20 kilograms of meth, Antara reported here on Tuesday.

The ship was detained near Sekupang Port.

The police are yet to provide further information on the arrest, while Riau Islands police chief Inspector General Didid W did not comment.

Besides that, the Indonesian navy has also stated that it had seized a fishing vessel carrying one ton of crystal methamphetamine off Batam waters early this month.

The drugs were smuggled in 41 rice sacks, and the boat MV Sunrise Glory, which was flying a Singapore flag, was operated by Taiwanese crew members.

Authorities suspect the vessel of also being a `phantom ship, which likely uses many names, including Sun De Man 66.


Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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