Sat, 23 Aug 2003

Police deplore sentence for smugglers

SEMARANG: Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Didi Widayadi expressed regret on Friday over the lenient sentences for suspects found guilty of smuggling 85 kilograms of gold.

The Boyolali District Court jailed a key suspect, Nusantara Putra, for only four months on Tuesday, and two other suspects Budi Cahyono and Ang Oen Tjoen for three months and five days respectively.

The verdict was handed down in the trial presided over by Harnani.

Prosecutors had sought an eight-month prison sentence for the three defendants.

"If we had known the result would be like this, it would have been better not to bring the case to court. The suspects had been involved in gold smuggling on six occasions. We foiled their seventh attempt at Adisumarno Airport in Surakarta," Didi said in Semarang, Central Java.

He said the seven cases of gold were worth billions of rupiah. "It shows how much of our foreign exchange has been lost in this way." --JP