S. Sulawesi home to major drugs network, police suspect

The distribution of drugs has continued to increase in South Sulawesi, forcing security authorities to step up measures to prevent illicit drug trafficking in the province.

In the past week, security authorities have foiled attempts to smuggle a total12.4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or shabu-shabu ready for distribution. The narcotics were seized by police and National Narcotics Agency (BNN) officers in separate operations.

Together with the Bone Police, the BNN on Saturday launched a raid in the course of which they seized 8 kg of crystal meth.

On Thursday, the Pinrang Police seized 3.4 kg of crystal meth from the house of Brig. Supardi, a police officer. Previously on Monday, the Parepare Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1 kg of crystal meth in an operation at Nusantara Parepare Port.

The Bone Police said the 8 kg crystal meth they confiscated during Saturday’s operation had come from two neighboring countries, Malaysia and the Philippines, and had been smuggled into the country via Kalimantan.

The drugs were found at a house in the village of Pattiro Sompe in Sibulue district, Bone, the police said. The house's owner, Andi Burhan, fled before the police arrived.   

Bone Police chief Adj.Sr.Comr. Yuliar Kus Nugroho said on Sunday that the BNN was currently stepping up measures to monitor drug distribution in Indonesia and had detected a network intensively supplying crystal meth to South Sulawesi.

Yuliar said that initially, the 8 kg of crystal meth were to have been handed over to a suspected drug dealer identified as Aco in Makassar via Aksan in Palu, Central Sulawesi. However, the South Sulawesi Police’s narcotics division arrested Aco on Friday; it appears Aco’s arrest forced the drug ring to instead channel the drugs to Andi.

“Andi Burhan is a new figure. His name is not recorded as being part of the drug rings being pursued by either the BNN or the police. We don’t know yet his network. We are still pursuing him,” said Yuliar.

Meanwhile, the Pinrang Police said they were continuing to investigate the confiscation of  the 3.4 kg of crystal meth belonging to Brig.Supardi, a member of the Baranti Police in Sidenreng Rappang regency.

As of Sunday, investigators had arrested four people suspected to be part of Supardi’s network. One of them is Edi alias Wilo, who is also suspected to be a courier.

“We are still pursuing K, the big boss of the Supardi network, and Brig. Edy Chandra, who is also a drugs courier,” Pinrang Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Adri Irniadi said on Sunday.

Edy is a member of the Mamasa Police in West Sulawesi accused of the possession of 1 kg of crystal meth; he has been included on the police’s most-wanted list (DPO). Pictures of the officer have been placed in several public places, including Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta,  Palopo seaport in South Sulawesi and Mamuju seaport and airport in West Sulawesi. (ebf)

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