Police in Bali has released details of an investigation launched in April in partnership with Interpol to arrest an Australian drug lord who is responsible for bringing millions of dollars of drugs into Bali. The dealer, known only by his initial ‘A’ was identified as a drug gang leader by Bali police after they arrested three Indonesian citizens in Kuta who were working for him.
Speaking to local press the at the Bali Police Headquarters Director of Drugs and Drugs at the Bali Police, Kombes Pol Mochamad Khozin said ‘The hunt was carried out after the arrest of three Indonesian citizens with the initials AAP, KMS, and KS in one of the villas in Kuta on April 12, 2022’.
He went on to explain how the Australian citizen is on watch lists in other countries including Australia ‘”The suspect, who is an Australian with the initials A, is approximately 32 years old. The problem (arrests) in other countries has its own mechanism, so we first coordinate with headquarters’’.
It is believed the Bali Police got a tip-off that 50kg of crystal methamphetamine would be entering Bali. Although they have yet to locate A, the three Indonesian citizens who were arrested were facilitating A’s operation at his Bali villa.
At the time of the bust operation and subsequent arrests, police found 35kg of crystal methamphetamine in addition to 2.6kg of marijuana, 32kg of cocaine, and nearly 800 ecstasy pills. It is thought that the street value of these drugs would be over IDR 55 billion.
Speaking at the press conference on the afternoon of Friday 25th Jun, Khozin explained how the drugs will be destroyed in accordance with Indonesian law. “Destruction is carried out to reduce the risk of the possibility of changing the evidence or the loss of evidence and or misuse of it. Drugs must be destroyed to protect the public from the dangers of narcotics circulating illegally in the community,”
Police in Bali is now working with Interpol to locate A who is ‘still at large’. Police have not disclosed whether they think he remains in Bali or has left the country.
Deputy Chief of the Bali Police Brigadier General Pol I Ketut Suardana also spoke at the press conference and shared that by the police department’s calculations over 450,000 lives have been saved from the negative impacts of these drugs had they been sold on Bali streets.
Indonesia has some of the toughest sentencing for drug-related offenses anywhere in the world. Indonesia can issue the death penalty as a sentence for criminals who are involved in the smuggling and distribution of Class A drugs.
Kerobokan Prison in Bali is one of the world’s most notorious prisons and currently houses some of the country’s most prolific drug criminals. The Police did not issue any further information regarding the next steps in the investigation and operation to locate A.
The Indonesian citizens who were arrested at the villa on Kalan Dewi Saraswati, Kerobokan Kelod, North Kuta remain in police custody and have been charged. They will await trial and will likely all receive hefty sentences for their involvement in what is believed to be A’s masterminded operations.
This news comes just days after Indonesia’s Head of the National Narcotics Agency launched his. ‘Smash on Drugs’ campaign at Udayana University in Badung. He spoke to the press to reaffirm Indonesia’s zero-tolerance approach to drugs and quashed any rumors that Indonesia would follow Thailand’s lead in relaxing legislation around the recreational use of marijuana.
He warned drug criminals that ‘“I declare that Bali is not only the Island of Gods, and the Island of Tolerance, but we declare that Bali is the Island of Zero Tolerance of Drug Abuse…I warn drug dealers that there is zero-tolerance for them if they wish to expand their business in Bali’.
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