21 November 2012

Three arrests on suspicion of drug smuggling to Timor-Leste

ETLJB 21/11/2012 - Police have made three arrests on 19 November 2012 at the Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili in connection with international drug smuggling.

In the first arrest, a Columbian woman was detained by the Immigration Service and Customs Department officers as she was attempting to bring sabu-sabu into the country that was discovered by immigration officers.

Suara Timor Lorosae reported that the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and his Deputy Fernando Lasama de Araujo attended the crime scene to directly see the illegal drugs.

The prime minister thanked and congratulated the immigration officers on their success in detaining the suspect.

“We need to congratulate our immigration police officers, intelligence services for the success. It also tells the world that we are also capable of dealing with this problem,” he said. 

 In the second case, police arrested two Indonesians at the airport who are suspected of smuggling 5 kilograms of drugs into Timor-Leste.

According to a report by Jornal Independente on 20 November, the Indonesian man and an Indonesian woman are in detention pending further investigation before being handed over to Indonesia.

Airport staff found the five kilograms of drugs while x-raying the passengers’ baggage after a light from Singapore. The Supervisor of Civil Aviation at Dili airport, Atancio de Jeseus Maia Fernandes, said after he found the drugs they called police to arrest the two people. “I can detect everything, including gun, bomb and drugs,” Mr. Fernandes told

He said the drugs were from Colombia and taken to Singapore before being brought to Timor-Leste.

Related stories
Timor-Leste becoming transit zone for international drug smuggling
Drug traffickers handed over to Indonesia
Plenty of drugs in Timor-Leste, SPI helpless to stop it
Prostitution and Drugs in Timor-Leste blamed on foreigners
Police will not tolerate people who smuggle drugs into the country
Indonesians and Mozambiquans arrested on suspicion of importing 8 kgs of methamphetamine to Timor-Leste
Murders, Drugs, Assaults, Embezzlement, Corruption & Land Disputes: Summary of Cases Heard by the Dili District Court in May 2011

Sources: Suara Timor Lorosae and Jornal Independente. Edited by Warren L. Wright

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