Sat, 27 Jul 1996

Ecstasy smuggler arrested

JAKARTA (JP): Soekarno-Hatta airport customs and excise officials have arrested an Indonesian for trying to smuggle in 13.689 Ecstasy pills worth more than Rp 1.3 billion (US$582,510) from Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Nisfu Chasbullah, the head of the airport's customs and excise, said the man, identified only as FZA, 33, was apprehended on Thursday night as he arrived from Rotterdam, via Frankfurt, on a Lufthansa flight.

He said FZA, who claimed to work for a Japanese restaurant in Rotterdam, had hidden the pills in his luggage.

Caught by the X-Ray detectors, the green, gray and blue pills were all tightly wrapped in plastic, clothes, carbon paper and a bullet-proof waistcoat, he added.

Nisfu said the men was handed over to the police for further questioning.

Customs and excise officials at the airport have arrested nine Ecstasy smugglers and seized a total of 126,221 pills in the past five months, he said.

One Ecstasy pill costs between Rp 100,000 and Rp 125,000 here. (jun)