Attempt to smuggle drugs into Kerobokan prison thwarted

An attempt to smuggle 150 grams of crystal methamphetamines, locally known as shabu-shabu, was foiled by a prison guard at Kerobokan Penitentiary near Kuta on Friday afternoon. The new warden of Kerobokan penitentiary, Farid Junaedi, told Bali Daily that he was committed to eradicating the use and illegal trade of narcotics in the prison, which is home to thousands of inmates, many of whom were convicted on drug-related charges. Farid confirmed that the attempt to smuggle crystal meth was committed by a man identified as Ramli Basalamah, aged 35.

“The man tried to cover his illicit crime by putting the crystal meth into a box of wafers,” Farid said. Farid explained that the incident happened on Thursday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. Bali time. Ramli carried a plastic bag of food, saying that he wanted to visit an inmate. However, because visitation hours were over, Ramli left the bag to be given to the inmate. When a  guard examined the bag,he found two plastic bags of crystal meth inside a box of wafers. “When the guard asked the man about the stuff in the bags, he admitted that it was crystal meth,” Farid said.

Farid said that the man was allegedly a member of a drug ring as the drug were properly boxed. “Two plastic bags containing crystal meth were placed in the middle of the box and wrapped tightly. However, the man said that he did not know anything about the crystal meth as someone had told him to bring the bag to the prison,” Farid said. Farid said that he did not know who the drugs were intended for. “He refused to reveal the name of the prisoner,” he added. The guard then filed a report with the Badung Police.

“Soon after we reported our findings, police arrived and arrested the man for further investigation,” Farid said. Head of the Badung Police Adj. Sr. Comr. Komang Suartana said that his team was handling the case. “The man has been taken to our office for further investigation. We want to know who the drugs were intended for as this person might be able to shed some light on this drug ring,” Suartana said. He admitted that this was not the first drug-smuggling attempt into the prison that had been thwarted.

“Be grateful that the prison warden has openly supported the attempt to eradicate drugs. The Badung Police are cooperating with the prison in a joint drug eradication program,” Suartana said. The prison, which is designed to house 300 inmates, is currently home to more than 1,000 inmates. It has gained notoriety not only for repeated large-scale clashes but also alleged rampant drug trade and use among inmates. National Narcotics Agency (BNN) Bali office head IGK Budiartha recently disclosed that illegal drugs were still finding their way into local prisons, including Kerobokan. He called illegal drug circulation inside prisons “a complicated problem”.

source : bali daily

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