Officials adopting an unusual approach to destroying ecstasy during a recent news conference in the capital. Jakarta Police on Friday launched a major drugs bust resulting in the closure of an ecstasy factory. (Antara Photo/Fanny Octavianus)
In yet another major blow to the credibility of the Indonesian prison system, Jakarta Police have busted two prisoners operating a major ecstasy supply ring.
The involvement of the prisoners was discovered during the raid on ecstasy factory in East Pluit, North Jakarta, on Friday.
Chief Comr. Anjan Pramuka Putra, head of the Jakarta Police's narcotics division, said factory produced 1,000 ecstasy pills a day generating Rp 6 billion ($665,000) a month.
He said the alleged owner of the factory, YM, was arrested along with three accomplices, identified as AP, IW and AN.
“We are still investigating if they are part of a drug ring,” Anjan told SCTV.
Anjan said police machine used in the manufacture of the popular drug, as well as 46,000 pills and the raw materials used to produce them, including methamphetamine.
He said the pills had been ordered by two inmates at Salemba Penitentiary in Central Jakarta.
Comr. Kristian Siagian, head of the narcotic division with West Jakarta Police, told the Jakarta Globe that the imates used cellphones to order the pills and relied on a courier to deliver them. The courier is still at large. The prisoner were not identified.
“The Salemba inmates would buy the pills and sell it outside the penitentiary, not inside,” he said.
There have been a string of recent cases involving crimes being committeed from behind the bars of the nation's notoriously poor prisons, often with the use of cellphones.
Last week, Surabaya Police discovered an inmate has been running a syndicate of counterfeiters from his cell.
Last month, terrorist Iwan Dharmawan, also known as Rois Abu Syaukat, was found to have had eight cellphones with him while an inmate at Jakarta’s Cipinang Prison, which he had used to communicate with a terrorist network in Aceh.
Last year, Jet Lie Chandra, a death row convict in Pondok Bambu Penitentiary in East Jakarta, was found to have been running a drug-distribution business from behind bars.
The country’s overcrowded prisons, where inmates vastly outnumber prison guards, are known to be plagued by corruption, drug abuse and trafficking, and human rights violations by both guards and inmates.
The latest drug bust is the first this month. On March 23, Jakarta Police announced that they had confiscated about $22 million worth of narcotics from an ecstasy and methamphetamine laboratory in what they are calling the biggest drug raid in the capital this year.
The raid was carried out on Monday at a house in the Citra Housing Complex in Kalideres, West Jakarta, following a two-month surveillance operation.
Police displayed 50,000 ecstasy pills, 60 kilograms of ecstasy ingredients, 200 kg of methamphetamine and 30 kg of methamphetamine ingredients along with acetone and methanol — just some of the evidence collected from the house that is estimated to be worth Rp 200 billion.
In February, Police raided a home in Lippo Karawaci, Tangerang, discovering a methamphetamine factory allegedly run by a family. The raid took place at Villa Permata Lippo Karawaci on Jalan Taman Parahyangan. Police confiscated 200 grams of ready-to-sell methamphetamine.
Narcotics are a major problem in Indonesia, particularly Jakarta.