Indonesian authorities announced on Wednesday March 15, 2023 that they had arrested four foreigners, including three Nigerians, who were allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the country.
The Nigerian nationals were detained separately from January to March at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and several apartments in the capital, police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andika said at a press conference in Jakarta.
One of the arrested Nigerians allegedly swallowed dozens of capsules filled with more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of methamphetamine.
Indonesia, a major drug-trafficking center in Southeast Asia, has strict drug laws and convicted traffickers are sometimes executed by firing squad.
According to Soekarno-Hatta customs chief Gatot Sugeng Wibowo, authorities arrested Malachi Onyekachukwu Umanu, a Nigerian who arrived at the airport from Ethiopia on March 5 without a suitcase or bag.
His suspicious behavior led the police to search his body, and an X-ray showed approximately 6 capsules in his stomach. Authorities were able to force all the capsules, filled with a total of 1.07 kilograms (2.3 pounds) of methamphetamine, from his stomach within three days, Wibowo said.
Police also arrested two other Nigerian nationals and an Indonesian man and woman who tried to smuggle 1.0 kilograms (2.2 pounds) of the crystalline metal wrapped in lace from India through the Jakarta post office.
Mukti Juharsa, the capital’s chief of narcotics investigation, said the suspects would be punished under Indonesia’s strict drug law, with at least five years in prison and the possible death penalty.