Police foil attempt to smuggle crystal meth from Philippines

Police officers in Parepare, South Sulawesi, have foiled an attempt to smuggle 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine from Tarakan, North Kalimantan, into the regency.

The police confiscated the illegal substance from Baharuddin, 37, as he was disembarking a motor boat that had docked at Nusantara Parepare Port. “The suspect was hiding a package of crystal meth underneath a jacket he was wearing,” Parepare Police chief Adj.Sr.Comr.Alan Gerrit Abast said on Thursday.

Alan said the police confiscated the crystal meth during an operation on Monday but they only made the information public on Thursday as they were still pursuing six suspects in the case.  

He said the police arrested five out of the six suspects while one remained at large. Four suspects, identified as Akbar, 23, Andis, 45, Andi Ukkas, 42, and Amiruddin, 45, were arrested in Pinrang, South Sulawesi. Another suspect identified as Kasman alias Cammang, 20, was apprehended in Makassar. Kasman was assigned the operator of the drug-smuggling operation, in which he prepared transportation and pick-up services.

“We are still pursuing another man, suspected to be the owner of the crystal meth. Actually, he was traveling with Baharuddin from Tarakan to Parepare; but, he managed to flee,” said Alan.

Baharuddin and the five others have been named suspects and charged under the Narcotics Law.

Alan said that based on information provided by the suspects during interrogation, the illegal drugs were obtained from the Philippines. The crystal meth package was sent to Tarakan via Tawau, Malaysia. It was then picked up in Tarakan and brought to South Sulawesi with sea transportation.

Alan acknowledged that the port had become the main entrance of illegal drugs in South Sulawesi. As of April, three crystal meth smuggling attempts have been thwarted at the port. Police officers foiled an attempt to smuggle 10 kg and 1 kg of crystal meth in February and March respectively. The crystal meth was from Malaysia. (ebf)

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