Indonesian sailors find £66million worth of cocaine floating at sea
Sailors deployed to secure voyages during the Eid al-Fitr holiday have made Indonesia’s largest cocaine seizure after finding plastic packaging of the drug floating at sea, the navy said.
Indonesia is a major drug trafficking hub in Southeast Asia and has strict drug laws, with convicted smugglers sometimes executed by firing squad.
Four black parcels containing 179 kg (394 lb) of cocaine, worth 1.2 trillion rupees (£66 million), were found floating near the port of Merak on the island of Java on Sunday, a said the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff at a press conference.
Drug smuggling by throwing packages and a buoy overboard is a common tactic, Vice Admiral Ahmadi Heri Purwono said.
The smugglers would have likely put the drugs in the water near a port for delivery by speedboat and were watching the packages when they were seized by the Navy, he added.
“This is a spectacular seizure of cocaine, given its enormous value and the impact on the population of illicit drugs,” Admiral Purwono said.
No one has been arrested and authorities are still investigating.
The officers who spotted the package were among 5,000 navy personnel deployed to secure Eid al-Fitr returns.
Millions of Indonesians celebrate the holiday at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by traveling to see their families across the vast archipelago.
The United Nations Office on Drugs says Indonesia is a major smuggling hub, in part because international drug syndicates target its young population.
The Indonesian National Narcotics Agency estimates that there are 5.6 million drug addicts in the country of 270 million people.
Most of the more than 150 people on death row in Indonesia have been convicted of drug-related crimes. About a third are foreigners.
His last executions date back to 2016, when an Indonesian and three foreigners were shot by firing squad.