Mon, 23 Oct 2000

31 netted for narcotics

JAKARTA (JP): Central Jakarta Police arrested 31 people suspected of illegally possessing narcotics and weapons during a raid on Saturday.

Head of the Central Jakarta Police Command and Operation Control Center, Asst. Supt. Ricky F. Wakanno said the suspects were apprehended at a hotel and a cafe.

The police confiscated several packages of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), a roll of marijuana leaves, some bong (paraphernalia) and a pocket knife from the suspects.

During a raid at a cafe, several guests were searched and questioned thoroughly for pills, which turned out to be diet pills.

"This is a deep insult. I came here for fun, not to be interrogated in front of a (television) camera," said a girl, who refused to be named.

The guests applauded when police concluded their search, arresting a man who was carrying a knife.

Meanwhile, during the raid at the hotel, a guest became angry as he was searched by three different officers who left his room in disarray.

"Where is my privacy? Why can't you coordinate with other officers?" he said.

Another guest arrested for possessing several packages of marijuana wrapped in a plastic bag, told the police that a guest in another room had entrusted the packages to her.

The police took a number of guests to the station for questioning. They said the guests would be released if there were no grounds to hold them.

Many have criticized the police raids, accusing the police of taking bribes to release suspects. (07)