Soekarno-Hatta to monitor passengers from China, Malaysia

Soekarno-Hatta to monitor passengers from China, Malaysia
File photo of the air control tower of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

The customs and excise officers at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport will be keeping an eye on passengers coming in from China and Malaysia to prevent any possible drug-smuggling attempts.

The airport's customs and excise office head, Okto Irianto, said that they were focusing closely on passengers from those two countries because there had been many drug-smuggling attempts by them, as reported by Antara news agency.

He added that the drug traffickers were not necessarily Chinese or Malaysian citizens, but they tended to depart from those two countries.

In order to detect possible smugglers, the airport's customs and excise office has been working together with intelligence officers.

"We usually use data from the intelligence office to find out the track records of the passengers in order to try to catch possible smugglers. It's a little difficult to rely only on the x-ray because there are so many passengers," Okto said.

According to data from the airport's customs and excise office, at least 52 drug smugglers have been detained since January this year. As many as 31 of those were Indonesian citizens, while the remaining 21 came from Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

The officers have confiscated a total of 41.6 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu, in the smuggling cases. They also seized 20 'happy five' tablets in one case.

The confiscated drugs were worth an estimated Rp 54 billion (S$5.8 million).

The deputy chief of the narcotics unit of the Soekarno-Hatta Airport Police, Adj. Comr. Wempy, said that the police had been cooperating with the customs and excise office in order to catch the perpetrators.

He said that although some of the smugglers were caught on site, several others were caught later during their investigations.

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