Wed, 10 Dec 2003

Two Malaysians held in Riau on drugs charges

Fadli, The Jakarta Post, Batam, Riau

Police here said on Monday they had arrested two Malaysian nationals for allegedly possessing ecstasy pills in Tanjung Balai Karimun, Riau province.

Kew Mook Fatt and Azman bin Nor were caught separately on Sunday and Monday respectively by local police.

First Insp. Bastari, the head of the West Riau Islands police narcotics unit, said Azman was nabbed in a hotel room with 76 ecstacy pills, which had also been seized as evidence.

Azman was suspected by the police of being a major supplier of ecstasy pills in Tanjung Balai Karimun, he added.

The suspect admitted that he had brought the pills from Kuala Lumpur to be sold in Tanjung Balai Karimun.

"But he claims that none of the pills had been sold. We don't believe him because according to his passport, he came in here last Saturday. He could have brought in hundreds of ecstacy pills, but we're still investigating the case," Bastari said.

He said the police were investigating whether Aznan was part of a drug dealing network.

Bastari said the police were seeking information from the Malaysian authorities regarding Azman, who is 42.

Azman told police investigators that he sold ecstacy pills for Rp 100,000 (US$11) each. "If the buyers wanted large amounts, he would sell them the cache for only Rp 5 million," Bastari added.

Azman admitted that he had often sold ecstacy pills to customers in Tanjung Balai Karimun, according to Bastari.

Meanwhile, another Malaysian suspect, Kew Mook Fatt, was arrested during a police raid on a nightspot in Tanjung Balai Karimun.

Bastari said the police had found four ecstacy pills in his shirt pocket.

It was not clear whether there was any connection between the two Malaysian suspects.