Five nabbed for distributing space cake

Five nabbed for distributing space cake

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) recently arrested five men for allegedly producing, selling and redistributing marijuana-laced cake in the capital.

BNN spokesperson Sr. Comr. Slamet Pribadi said Tuesday that three suspects, who were identified only as IR, YG and HA, were arrested at Blok M Plaza in South Jakarta on Friday following a tip-off from two of their customers who had been arrested earlier.

The two customers, identified as OJ and AH, told the police that they bought the cake from a seller in Blok M Plaza to be resold in other places. IR, YG and HA also allegedly sold weed brownies via an online shop to a junior high school student who then slept for two days straight after eating some of the product.

According to Slamet, the three suspects rented a counter in Blok M Plaza, but also marketed their products through an online site, www.tokohemp.com.

The site, which could still be accessed by the public as of Tuesday, claimed that it did not sell marijuana or "any substance that violated the law" and only sold products and accessories related to a marijuana theme.

"The customers find the seller's contact information on the website and then contact the dealers through Blackberry Messenger or SMS," Slamet told The Jakarta Post, adding that the dealers sold each package of cake for Rp 200,000 (S$21).

Shortly after the arrest, BNN officers also located an apartment owned by IR in Tangerang, Banten, which was used by the three suspects to bake their products. In the apartment, the officers found four kilograms of marijuana, ready-to-eat drug-laced cake, a mixer and a set of scales.

He added that the five suspects would be charged under Article 114 and Article 111 clause two of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics distribution and possession, which carries a maximum penalty of death.

"We have detained them for further investigation. It is still possible [there will be] more suspects to come. We'll see," Slamet said.

He said the BNN had also learned that some of the cake customers were senior high school students.

Blok M Plaza shopping mall is located in Kebayoran Baru, close to SMA 6 and SMA 70 state senior high schools, which have been considered to be elite schools and are a popular choice among privileged families.

Separately, Blok M Plaza's management claimed it was unaware that one of its tenants was selling marijuana cake.

Laurentia Lanny, the mall's general manager, said the three suspects had only rented a counter at the mall for a month and had registered themselves as vendors of T-shirts and accessories.

"We don't know about any weed brownies being sold at that counter. We also don't have control over the sales through their online shop," she said.

According to Laurentia, the mall applies a strict selection process for every tenant and inspects vendors' products regularly. She added that the mall management had carried out routine inspections at every counter but had not found anything suspicious.

Meanwhile, Daryatmo from The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) said the city administration and the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) should hold stricter and more regular inspections of food vendors to find out if their products contained dangerous substances.

"If they find any violations, they should not hesitate to revoke sellers' licenses," he said.

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