Bali Police have released details of one of their most successful drug busts of the year to date. Badung Police have intercepted a drug dealer in South Bali who had received a hefty shipment of narcotics set for distribution and sale during the end-of-year holidays.
Police have announced the arrest of 40-year-old Andi Prayitno in Legian. The dealer has been known to Bali Police for years as something of an ‘old player’ in the setup. He now faces a very long time behind bars.
Prayitno was arrested on Friday, 25th November, at 7 pm at a hotel in Legian. The Denpasar Police Narcotics Investigation Unit conducted the raid alongside Badung Police units. The arrest comes after weeks of surveillance on Prayitno.
Police moved in to arrest him after watching a handover in the hotel lobby. During his arrest, he did not fight back, and police have described how he surrendered himself. However, Prayitno argues that he has been forced into selling drugs and was drawn in by the money he could earn by doing so.
During the raid, police seized one kilogram of methamphetamine and 2,000 ecstasy pills. Prayitno told police that he had received IDR 1 million for receiving the shipment and would receive payment again after cutting and distributing the drugs around the Badung area during the New Year holidays.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, 28th November, the Head of the Denpasar Police, Kombes Pol Bambang Yugo Pamungkas, said, “Members conducted an investigation for about two weeks. It is known that this suspect was going to take items deposited at a hotel in Legian. After taking the items deposited right in the hotel lobby, members immediately ambushed him”.
A search of Prayitno’s rucksack found a pack of Chinese tea. Stashed inside, police found the kilo of methamphetamine and 2,000 ecstasy pills hidden in a further 20 plastic clip bags. They also sexed his mobile phone. A further search of Prayitno’s room in a boarding house in Mengwi, close to Canggu, exposed further evidence that he was running a serious drug operation. Police found evidence of the items needed to cut, mix, weigh and package drugs for re-sell on the streets of Bali.
Police Chief Pamungkas told reporters, “We have secured the suspect and evidence and are currently still under development. Success in uncovering this case is the same as saving 5,000 lives from illicit drug trafficking. Our suspect is charged with Article 112 paragraph 2 of RI Law Number 35 of 2009 concerning Narcotics, with a minimum prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years”.
The Head of the Denpasar Police Narcotics Unit, AKP Mirza, spoke about the greater implications of the arrest. He explained, “The suspect is an old player. It’s just that this is the first time he has been arrested. While we are still developing it, is there any connection with the previous suspects we have arrested. Specifically for receiving 1 kg of methamphetamine and 2,000 ecstasy pills, the suspect received a wage of Rp. 1 million. The suspect also distributed [drugs]”.
AKP Mirza told reports that the investigation is currently focusing on where the drugs were trafficked into Bali from. They believe the drugs were imported from Java.
Police Chief Pamungkas continued, “These drugs were indeed a preparation for December or the new year. We urge the public, let’s protect the environment together, our generation, fight drugs”. Prayitno was present at the press conference and was paraded in front of the media.
He wore orange prison overalls and was flanked by police officers while remaining in handcuffs. He spoke briefly and cried while he spoke, “I was forced to get involved in drugs. These items were to prepare for the new year”.
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