JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian authorities have seized 2.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine after a series of raids linked to an international smuggling ring spanning Afghanistan and Southeast Asia, police said.
The huge drug haul, estimated to be worth $82 million, was found after raids in three locations, including in the capital Jakarta and in Aceh, on the island of Sumatra, National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo said on Wednesday.
“We revealed that approximately 2.5 tonnes of methamphetamine drugs… entered Indonesia,” he told a news conference, where the drugs were displayed in plastic bags.
Police said one person was killed after resisting arrest during the raids and 18 had been arrested, including 17 Indonesian nationals and one Nigerian citizen.
Agus Andrianto, head of criminal investigations at the national police, said the drugs entered Indonesian waters from Afghanistan last month.
Authorities said the drugs were shipped from Afghanistan via Malaysia.
In 2018, Indonesia seized 1.6 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine from a ship near the island of Batam.
The Southeast nation has among the strictest anti-narcotics laws globally, with drug trafficking punishable by death.
Indonesia faced international criticism in 2015 when it executed a number of foreign nationals, including two Australians who were leaders of the Bali Nine heroin trafficking ring.
There has been an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty for drug trafficking since 2016, but Amnesty International said in a report the imposition of the death penalty jumped last year with 101 out of the 117 new death sentences for drug-related offences.
(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ed Davies)