Customs office, National Police expose clandestine lab owned by Chinese network in East Java

Owned by a Chinese-Indonesian drug network, the lab produced gorilla tobacco, ecstasy and xanax.

Sudibuyo S Wiradji

Sudibuyo S Wiradji

The Jakarta Post


Joint operation between The Indonesian Directorate General Of Customs and Excise and the Directorate of Narcotics Crime’s (Dittipid) Criminal Investigation Department under the Indonesian National Police Uncovers The Largest Clandestine Lab Operation in the country in Malang July 2nd 2024. PHOTO: INDONESIA FINANCE MINISTRY/THE JAKARTA POST

July 8, 2024

JAKARTA – The Customs and Excise Directorate General collaborated with the Directorate of Narcotics Crime’s (Dittipid) Criminal Investigation Department under the Indonesian National Police to uncover a clandestine narcotics laboratory in Malang, East Java, on Tuesday.

Owned by a Chinese-Indonesian drug network, the lab produced gorilla tobacco, ecstasy and xanax.

Director of communications and user customs guidance Nirwala Dwi Heryanto explained that the joint operation involved various parties, including the Directorate of Narcotics Interdiction Customs, Soekarno Hatta Customs, Regional Customs Office East Java 1 and 2, Malang Customs and the Dittipid Criminal Investigation Department under the National Police.

“It is believed that the clandestine lab in Malang is the largest and most sophisticated narcotics laboratory ever uncovered by customs and the police, following similar past operations in Semarang, Sunter, Jakarta, Badung Bali and Medan.”

The success of the joint operation stemmed from the two institutions’ synergy resulting from the recent tightening of customs’ supervision over high-risk imports, such as the import of equipment, chemicals and printing machines that could be misused for narcotics production.

Moreover, these tightened procedures were followed by post-seizure analyses of several clandestine lab operations by customs and the Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police.

This combination of customs’ supervision and analysis provided valuable input for the Criminal Investigation Department to successfully conduct joint analyses and further their information gathering, leading to the discovery of the clandestine lab in Malang.

“From the discovery of Class 1 synthetic tobacco narcotics shipments to Kalibata City Apartments in Jakarta, we connected that with the results of our joint analysis and we found indications of an international network producing and distributing Class I narcotics, specifically MDMB-4en-PINACA, in Malang,” Nirwala continued.

Ultimately, the joint team arrested eight individuals involved in the production and distribution of international network narcotics and found evidence of narcotics, alongside various tools and raw materials utilized for narcotics production.

The confiscated evidence included 1.2 tonnes of MDMB-4en-PINACA (synthetic cannabis/Gorilla tobacco), 25,000 ecstasy pills, 25,000 Xanax pills, 40 kilograms of MDMB-4en-PINACA raw materials equivalent to 2 tonnes of finished product and various chemicals used as raw materials along with auxiliary materials used for narcotics production.

The charges in this narcotics operation include Article 114 paragraph (2), subarticle 113 paragraph (2), sub-article 112 paragraph (2), Article 111 paragraph (1) and Article 132 paragraph 2 of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics. The penalties include the death penalty, life imprisonment or a minimum imprisonment of 6 years and a maximum of 20 years and a maximum fine as referred to in paragraph (1) increased by one third, amounting to Rp 13,000,000,000.

Nirwala said the discovery of the clandestine lab in Malang reflected the synergy between customs and the police in their shared effort to Prevent and Eradicate Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking (P4GN) to protect the Indonesian public.

“We will continue to enhance our synergy with the police and other law enforcement agencies to successfully implement P4GN efforts. This aligns with our duties and functions as a community protector, providing protection to the public by preventing the entry of narcotics, psychotropics and precursors (NPP) into Indonesia.” Nirwala said.

This article is published in collaboration with Finance Ministry

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