Jakarta Police have uncovered a drug smuggling operation and confiscated 351 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine with an estimated street value of Rp 702 billion ($76.5 million) smuggled in from China.
The stash of illicit drugs was found inside a van in the parking lot of a shopping complex in North Jakarta, the Jakarta Police chief, Insp. Gen. Untung Rajab, said on Thursday.
Police arrested four suspects, including three Indonesians identified only as A.K., D.R. and M.W. One Malaysian national was also apprehended.
“These were manufactured in China,” Untung said of the drugs.
He added that the police had been investigating the smuggling operation for the past three months.
“From our investigations, we found that two suspected couriers were to take the goods from a hotel in North Jakarta,” Untung said.
The suspected couriers — A.K. and D.R. — were arrested in the hotel parking lot on May 2 with one kilogram of crystal methamphetamine and three kilograms of ephedrine in their possession.
Questioning led to the arrests of M.W. and E.W.H., the Malaysian, on Tuesday in the lobby of the same hotel.
A search of E.W.H.’s hotel room yielded 12 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.
The questioning of the two suspects arrested on Tuesday led investigators to a house in Pantai Mutiara in North Jakarta, but the police were too late.
“It turned out that the house was empty, except for some cardboard boxes and luggage,” Untung said.
E.W.H. told police that the drugs had been moved to a van and gave police the vehicle’s registration number. He said they were in the possession of a Malaysian, who is still at large.
Police found the van and watched it for 24 hours before making their move. When no one approached the vehicle, they decided to open it. They found 338 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine inside.