Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) thwarted an attempt by 8 Iranian nationals to smuggle 319 kilograms of methamphetamine into Indonesia on board a ship.

"Eight Iranians (have been arrested),” deputy of eradication at the BNN Brigadier General I Wayan Sugiri informed at the agency's office here on Tuesday.

The eight Iranians have been identified as ARZ, AWS, AAB, UD, AN, SS, WMP, and WBK. They reportedly tried to smuggle the drug consignment on a ship sailing around the southern Java part of the Indian Ocean.

The meth was sourced by an international syndicate, Golden Crescent, which is known to deal opium in the South Asia region. The countries in the region include Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Golden Crescent is one of the syndicates whose operations the agency has often exposed.

Sugiri disclosed that the foreign nationals were captured on February 23, 2023. He said that they were captured after a joint team of personnel from the BNN, Customs and Excise, and police received a tip on the smuggling of the drugs and conducted a patrol in the ocean.

"We got information that there would be (drugs) coming in, then we prepared the personnel and worked along with Custom and Excise," he said.

When the patrol team spotted the ship that was believed to be carrying meth, they tried to stop it, and even fired a warning shot, he informed.

"It was not easy to stop the perpetrators who brought the drugs because this was already a matter of an international (drug) network. We chased, they ran, but we (kept) chasing, and gave a warning shot, only then (they) stopped," he said.

The team then brought the ship to Indah Kiat Port in Cilegon, Banten, for checking, he added.

"From the search, the team discovered a suspicious room beneath a diesel tank, or solar, left of the machine chamber. After it was opened, (we) found 309 packs containing meth totaling 319 kilograms," he informed.

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Translator: Putu Indah Savitri, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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