Police in West Jakarta have uncovered a drug production ring controlled by a female convict from her jail cell, a police officer said on Thursday.
From her prison cell, the convict, identified only as J., coordinated with her two daughters in running a home ecstasy production lab, West Jakarta Police Chief Sr. Comr. Suntana said.
“This case was discovered based on the reports of residents in Hayam Wuruk in West Jakarta, because drugs [like] ecstasy [are] often traded there,” Suntana said.
The enterprise was based out of a residential house, one where rooms were rented out to other people, on Jalan Pembangunan I, just off Hayam Wuruk.
J., who has been in jail for about a year at the Pondok Bambu penitentiary for women on a drug offense, controlled the production of the ecstasy along with her two daughters, F.O. and F.C.
“During the raid, seven other suspects were detained,” Suntana said, referring to the two daughters and five others identified only by their initials.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the operation was linked to J., he added.
“The mother guided the daughters in buying the raw materials. We will coordinate with the jail authority [to find out more],” Suntana said.
Meanwhile, Adj. Sr. Comr. Gembong Yudha, the head of the West Jakarta Police antidrug unit, estimated the alleged drug ring’s profits to be tens of millions of rupiah per day.
“The turnover is at about Rp 150 million to Rp 300 million a day [$15,700-$32,000],” he said.
Gembong said that all of the suspects may face at least 15 years in jail if convicted under the 2009 Drug Law and the 2009 Health Law.
Police confiscated production equipment and dozens of pills at the house.
The case adds to the long list of cases in which drugs have been distributed from behind prison walls.
In August, an inmate at the Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta was found to have orchestrated the import of illicit drugs from Malaysia to the Riau Islands, a province off the coast of the island of Sumatra.
The inmate, identified only as Rafiq, is a Pakistani national and a drug convict serving a 20-year prison sentence.
In July, the Jakarta Police’s anti-narcotics directorate uncovered a drug ring operating out of the same prison.
During a raid of the inmates’ cells, the unit seized 42 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu, having a street value of Rp 84 billion. Four people, including a prison guard, were arrested.
Earlier in the month, three inmates were arrested for drug possession after 1.4 kilograms of marijuana were found inside the Kerobokan prison in Denpasar, Bali.
The raid came three days after police officers in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, arrested a convicted drug trafficker found with a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine stashed inside his cell. The drugs were worth Rp 3 billion.
Gories Mere, head of the National Narcotics Agency, said recently that Indonesia’s illicit drug trade has reached staggering levels, with the latest measurements putting the industry’s annual value at Rp 42.8 trillion.
There are 3.8 million to 4.2 million illicit drug users in the country, Gories said, with 22 percent of them being young adults between the ages of 20 and 29.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently recorded a tripling of amphetamine-smuggling cases and a doubling of marijuana- and heroin-smuggling cases in Indonesia in 2011 from 2010.