Mon, 08 Mar 1999

Four men nabbed with marijuana

JAKARTA (JP): East Jakarta Police detectives arrested four men in separate raids on Friday night with 6.6 kilograms of dried marijuana worth about Rp 10 million (US$1,200) in their possession.

City Police spokesman Lt. Col. Zainuri Lubis on Saturday identified the suspects as Roni Siahaan, Yonihar Siahaan, Yulinas Napitupulu, and Bismar Simanjuntak, aged between 21 and 38.

Acting on a tip-off, a number of local plainclothes police detectives arrested the first two suspects at a house on Jl. Cawang in the Makasar district.

"We've been informed that the house has been often used as a transaction place for marijuana," officer Lubis said.

From Roni and Yonihar, the undercover officers seized 0.6 kilograms of the drug.

Roni, a truck driver, told the police later that he got the marijuana from a dealer in the Kelapa Gading area of North Jakarta.

Under police escort, the two were then asked to show them the whereabouts of dealers Yulinas and Bismar, Lubis said.

They were accompanied by two plainclothes officers, who posed as big buyers.

At a house in Kelapa Gading, Yulinas and Bismar enthusiastically greeted the two "buyers", who said they were looking for a large amount of marijuana.

From a distance, a team of police officers led by East Jakarta police detectives chief Maj. Alex Mandalika watched the deal before abruptly surrounding and arresting the two suspects,

During preliminary questioning, Yulinas admitted having sold marijuana to several retailers, including Roni, who then traded it to his regular buyers, such as his fellow truck drivers.

"It's the first time that anybody has ever wanted to buy all my marijuana stock. I was a bit suspicious actually," the suspect said.

Yulinas admitted having purchased the marijuana from a dealer from Aceh in Sumatra, he said.

According to Lubis, the four suspects would be charged under Article 78 of Law 22/1997 which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to Rp 500 million. (jun)