ETLJB 22 November 2012 - The two Indonesian citizens arrested at the Nicolau Lobato international airport in Dili on Monday (19/11) now stand accused before the courts of smuggling 5 kilograms of cocaine into the country.
Airport staff found the five kilograms of drugs while x-raying the passengers’ baggage after a flight from Singapore. The drugs are believed to have originated in Colombia and taken to Singapore before being brought to Timor-Leste.
The suspects have appeared in the Dili District Court according the National Criminal Service (SIC) Commander, Calisto Gonzaga. The Commander told journalists that the suspects would be processed according to the law and a further thorough investigation would be undertaken.
Meanwhile, the Parliament has thanked the police and in particular the immigration police for arresting foreigners who are suspected of drug smuggling.
MP Maria Adozinda from Frenti Mudanca said she was confident that the police would conduct a proper investigation and processing of the two Indonesians arrested.
"I thank and congratulate our national police as they were able to seize the drug and its smugglers," she said.
Another Member of Parliament, Inacio Moreira, said that he suspected certain people had backed this drug trafficking and he therefore called on the country's intelligence services to be more vigilant with the issue.
But according to MP Natalino dos Santos, the reason Timor-Leste is being used as a transit zone is because the law is still weak. He was reported by Suara TImor Lorosae yesterday as saying that "I think the law in the country is not yet strong; therefore people from other countries use Timor-Leste as a transit point.". He called on the Immigration Police officers to work more effectively in controlling foreign nationals who were coming in and out of the country.
The drug trade is not just one way. Last month, the Indonesian customs office thwarted the smuggling of 1.06 kilograms of heroin worth more than US$249,360 from India through the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta that was on its way to Timor-Leste.
Sources: Diario Nacional, Radio Timor Leste and Suara Timor Lorosae. Edited by Warren L. Wright
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