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Indonesia police seize more than a tonne of crystal meth from ship

Indonesia police seize more than a tonne of crystal meth from ship
20 Feb 2018

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities early Tuesday (Feb 20) seized 1.6 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine hidden on a ship in their second major drug bust this month, officials said.

Customs inspectors said they spotted the vessel between Indonesia's Sumatra island and Singapore and reported it to police.

A subsequent search of the Singapore-flagged ship turned up the huge haul of narcotics stuffed into some 81 rice sacks. Four Taiwanese crew were arrested including a 69-year-old man.

"We are currently weighing the drugs and questioning four Taiwanese crew," tax and customs agency spokesman Deni Sirjantoro told AFP.

Indonesian authorities said they had been looking for the ship for several months on suspicion it was shipping drugs to Indonesia and Australia, adding that it may have flown flags from different countries to avoid detection.

Earlier this month, the Indonesian navy seized 1.3 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine from a ship spotted in the strait between Singapore and Indonesia.

Local media reported the drugs were smuggled in rice sacks and the boat MV Sunrise Glory, which was flying a Singapore flag, was operated by Taiwanese crew members.

Authorities suspect the vessel of being a “phantom ship”, which has likely used many names. Officials also suspect the crew of replacing the boat’s flag according to the country it passed by.

Indonesia has some of the world's toughest anti-drugs laws, including capital punishment for some trafficking cases.

Source: AFP/CNA/