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Indonesian navy seizes tonne of crystal meth


By: Agence France-Presse

Indonesia’s navy seized more than a tonne of crystal methamphetamine and arrested four people in a major drug bust this week, an top navy official said Saturday.

A navy boat patrolling the Phillip Channel between Singapore and Batam intercepted the MV Sunrise Glory, which was flying the Singapore flag, as it entered Indonesian waters.

Officials suspected it might actually be a Taiwanese fishing boat which has been targeted by the Indonesian military since December for being a part of a drug syndicate, navy deputy chief Vice Admiral Achmad Taufiqoerrochman told a press conference.

The boat was flying the Singapore flag but changed it for the Indonesian one as the navy patrol approached.

Officials later took the boat to Batam and raided the storage where they found the drugs hidden inside 41 rice sacks, weighing 1,029 kilograms (2,260 pounds).

“Last night we discovered more than one tonne of crystal meth and the amount might increase because we have not finished checking everything,” the vice admiral said.

Officials also arrested four Taiwanese crew members who claimed not to know each other.

Authorities also found at least four different national flags on the boat and fake documents, prompting suspicion that the vessel was a “phantom ship” which operates under different names and changed flag according to the country’s waters it entered, he said.

The boat crew told the military they planned to bring the drugs to Australia.

Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, including capital punishment for traffickers.