Mon, 11 Jun 2001

Alleged drugs boss arrested in Bali

KUTA, Bali (JP): Police officers here struck a devastating blow to the island's narcotic syndicate when during a predawn raid on Saturday they detained a suspected major drug dealer and confiscated almost 100 grams of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), 200 ecstasy pills and a hand grenade.

Denpasar Police detectives chief Comr. Cahyo Budi, who personally supervised the operation, said the officers also found 2.9 grams of dried marijuana and 2.8 g of high-grade hashish.

He said the suspect, Ishak Thayeb, was apprehended at around 2 a.m. when he was about to leave his two-story electronics goods store on Jl. Raya Seminyak, Kuta.

Police officers found eight grams of shabu-shabu in his pant pocket.

"The finding gave us enough evidence to proceed with a full search of the store," Cahyo said.

In another room of the store, the detectives found five small machines, several kilograms of unidentified powder of various colors, 23 small bottles of unidentified substances, and several mixing and grinding equipment.

"It seems like we have found something big here. Those machines were probably used to produce the ecstasy pills, and the powder is the raw material. I believe we have stumbled onto a small-scale factory here," a detective said during the search.

Cahyo said the Ishak's arrest was made possible because sometime around midnight, the detectives intercepted one of Ishak's drug couriers carrying 50 grams of shabu-shabu. The man, later identified as Andi Syaifuddin, 30, confessed that the drugs belonged to his boss, Ishak Thayeb.

The raid end at about 5 a.m. and Ishak was escorted to the Denpasar Police Headquarters.

Ishak had been identified by police as one of the seven major drug dealers in Bali. In 1996 he was arrested for trying to smuggle about 20,000 ecstasy pills into the country and was sentenced to 14 months in jail. (zen)