Screening Of Passengers from Malaysia, China Increased Over Narcotics Smuggling

TANGGERANG ~

The customs service of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport will increase screening of passengers arriving from China and Malaysia following a surge in the number of narcotics smuggling cases through the airport.

Head of Customs Service Okto Irianto stated here on Tuesday that flights from the two countries will be given special attention by customs officials because of an increase in the number of attempts made to smuggle narcotics by passengers from the two countries.

“Every passenger arriving on flights from Malaysia and China will be given special attention by customs officers because many passengers from there have so far been caught carrying narcotics,” he pointed out.

The nationalities of those caught trying to smuggle narcotics may be Malaysian, Chinese, or others, but mostly they came to Jakarta through the two countries, Irianto added.

Okto explained that many dealers used couriers from various countries who then boarded flights from the two countries to Jakarta.

The offenders also used various methods to smuggle the illegal stuff, such as by concealing it in their luggage, pasting it on their bodies, or even swallowing it.

Okto emphasized that the customs service is also cooperating with the intelligence service to detect suspected passengers.

“We usually use intelligence data to know their track record before catching the suspects. It will be difficult to catch them if we only rely on X-ray scanners because the number of passengers being checked is huge,” Okto stated.

As per the airport customs service data for the period between January and May, this year, a total of 31 national and 21 foreign citizens from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda have been caught as narcotics smuggling suspects.

The number of cases during the period reached 34, involving 41.6 kilograms of methamphetamine and ketamine and 20 tablets of happy five ecstasy pills worth more than Rp54 billion.

Deputy Chief of the Airport Narcotics Police Unit Adjunct Commissioner Wempy meanwhile stressed that the police had cooperated with the customs service before seizing the suspects.

Wempy remarked that his unit had also chased suspects who used courier service to send narcotics to various regions in the country.

“Some suspects have been caught on site while others after investigations into the case,” he pointed out.

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