Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - A team of Indonesia-Malaysia border security task force personnel arrested five smugglers from a Malaysia-Indonesia drug syndicate in West Kalimantan during an ambush operation and seized at least 21.2 kilograms of methamphetamine from them.

The Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) personnel belong to the 16/Tk Field Artillery Battalion (Yon Armed) - Western Sector, stationed in Semunying Jaya village, Jagoi Babang sub-district, Bengkayang district, West Kalimantan province.

Speaking to journalists here on Monday, Commander of the 121/Abw Military Command Post (Korem), Brig.Gen.Luqman Arief, said that the suspected drug smugglers comprise three Indonesians and two Malaysian citizens.

The operation to arrest them involved nine task force personnel. It was launched after the task force received a tip from several residents of Pareh hamlet in Jagoi Babang sub-district about the suspicious cross-border activities of a local resident, identified as J.

Based on the tip, the nine soldiers launched an ambush operation on the evening of May 30, 2024.

They were divided into three groups and deployed at three shortcuts leading to the Indonesia-Malaysia border.

"The local villagers suspected that J's cross-border activities may be connected to an Indonesia-Malaysia drug ring," Arief said, adding that J was nabbed from one of the three shortcuts leading to the border.

After arresting J, the task force personnel continued to search for members of the Malaysia-Indonesia drug syndicate that J was suspected to be assisting.

Their search ended with the discovery of a white van. They found five men inside the vehicle with 20 packs of crystal meth weighing at least 21.2 kilograms.

The five suspects were identified as DD (26), RN (34), JK (35), BD (45), and SP (42), he said. DD and RN are Malaysian citizens, while the rest are residents of West Kalimantan, he added.

Arief said that he highly appreciated the task force personnel's success in thwarting the drug trafficking attempt and warned them about other potential transnational crimes, including smuggling of other illegal goods.

The crystal meth package seized during the operation was handed over to the West Kalimantan office of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) for further investigation, he added. (INE)

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Translator: Rendra, Jonathan, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Atman Ahdiat
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