SEMARANG, INDONESIA - Another inmate being held on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap regency, Central Java, has been arrested for leading a drug ring from his cell.
Central Java branch of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) head Brig. Gen. Amrin Remico said in Semarang on Wednesday that the authorities were able to make the connection after arresting one of the drug ring's top enforcers.
"The case was disclosed after we arrested SS, a crystal meth dealer in Sukoharjo, Central Java, on April 9. We seized 84.9 grams of crystal meth from him. He was caught in possession of 5 grams of the contraband, while the rest was seized from his rented house in Talang Banaran village, Grogol district, Sukoharjo," said Amrin.
Central Java BNN officers raided SS' house and found 14 bags of crystal meth weighing 5 grams and another weighing 19.9 grams.
SS admitted receiving an order from AF, a drug convict who is still serving time on Nusakambangan. According to Amrin, AF instructed SS to obtain a package of drugs from a courier and then asked him to divide the package into smaller units for sale.
"The distribution is done by placing a drug package at a certain place according to the order, after which SS reports his task to AF. They communicate by cell phone," said Amrin.
To investigate the case further, the Central Java BNN then collaborated with the Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency. Prison guards on Nusakambangan immediately raided AF's cell, where they found a cell phone, which they believe was being used to coordinate drug operations.
"We then placed AF at the Kedungpane Prison in Semarang so as to facilitate the legal process," said Amrin.
Central Java BNN officers also arrested a suspect, EK, on April 9 in Semarang in possession of 5 grams of crystal meth. The officers arrested HR at almost the same time in Surakarta, Central Java, also in possession of 5 grams of crystal meth. The arrests of HR and EK were unrelated to the prison drug ring bust.
In February, the BNN broke up a separate drug ring on Nusakambangan, where two convicts were coordinating the movement of crystal methamphetamine across the country.
The BNN team busted Sartoni, or Toni, and Sutrisno, also known as Pak Tris, for directing the trafficking of drugs from inside the prison. The two also used cell phones to control the trade, transferring money via e-banking systems and using couriers to deliver the products.
The operation against Sartoni and Sutrisno began after the Jakarta and Central Java branches of the BNN arrested an unnamed drug courier on a bus heading to Surakarta, Central Java, from the Pulogadung Bus Terminal in East Jakarta.
Authorities have taken down drug rings on Nusakambangan on multiple occasions. During one such bust on Nusakambangan in January 2013, Nigerian Adam Wilson, Singaporean Tan Swa Lin and Malaysian Lee Chee Hen were identified as ringleaders by 16 drug couriers arrested in sting operations.
The three were said to have taken orders from a drug kingpin in Malaysia. Tan is currently on death row on Nusakambangan, while Lee is incarcerated at Cipinang Penitentiary. Wilson was executed later that same year.
In November 2012, seven inmates - including five on death row - were busted in two cases at separate prison blocks on Nusakambangan Island.
The inmates were linked to the arrest of a journalist in Jakarta carrying 2.6 kilograms of crystal meth and counterfeit money, as well as the confiscation of 2.4 kg of crystal meth in Jayapura, Papua. Nusakambangan holds about 1,500 high-profile inmates serving five-year sentences, including drug convicts.
In January, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) executed six drug convicts - five foreigners and one Indonesian - at an unspecified location on the prison island.
The AGO has revealed plans to execute more death row convicts, including the Bali Nine duo, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, but has yet to set an execution date.