Death-row Indonesian kingpin ran drug ring from prison: police

In this file photo,officers from various Indonesian drug enforcement agencies prepare confiscated narcotics to be destroyed in an incinerator following a ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia.(Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018

Death-row Indonesian kingpin ran drug ring from prison: police

JAKARTA: A jailed Indonesian drug lord facing execution ran a meth-and-ecstasy ring from behind bars, police said Thursday, as officials announced his narcotics network had been smashed.
A dozen people were arrested as police said they seized nearly 111 kilos (about 245 pounds) of methamphetamine and more than 18,000 pills of ecstasy in Aceh and North Sumatra provinces.
Convicted drug kingpin Togiman, also known as Toge, ran the group from prison, despite already having been sentenced to death twice for narcotics trafficking, police said, adding that the ring had links to Malaysian organized crime.
“The mastermind was Togiman,” said Sulistiandriatmoko, spokesman for Indonesia’s anti-drugs agency.
“He must have had many other accomplices. (The suspects are) probably just the first few that we have caught. We’ll investigate this further and coordinate with international anti-narcotics (agencies) if needed.”
Togiman, who is in his early 60s, will be charged with drug trafficking, officials said, adding that it would be up to the courts to decide whether he should face another death sentence.
The twelve arrested suspects have been charged with drug trafficking and could face execution or life in prison.
Togiman was already in jail when he was again convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death for the second time last year. It is not known when Togiman might be executed
It was also unclear how he was able to operate a criminal network while incarcerated, but corruption-riddled Indonesia’s prisons are known for rampant crime.
“Fifty percent of drug trafficking is being done from inside prisons,” Budi Waseso, head of the anti-drugs agency, told reporters.
Last year, the government vowed to jail guards caught taking bribes from inmates in exchange for special treatment.
In one of the highest profile cases, a businesswoman jailed for corruption was found with banned items in her cell, including a spring mattress, couch, refrigerator, television and air conditioning.
Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws. Several foreign and Indonesian nationals have been executed by firing squad in recent years for drug trafficking, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in 2015, a case that sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the penalty.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has said the country is facing a “drug emergency” and previously ordered police to shoot drug traffickers who resist arrest.


Global civil unrest and violence in quarter of countries in 2019, expected to rise in 2020: Report

Updated 17 January 2020

Global civil unrest and violence in quarter of countries in 2019, expected to rise in 2020: Report

  • Identified Sudan as most troubled and “extreme risk” country in the world
  • According to the report, 2019’s biggest flashpoint locations were Hong Kong and Chile

LONDON: Nearly a quarter of the world’s nations witnessed a rise in unrest and violence in 2019 with the figure expected to rise in 2020, according to a study released earlier this week.

Verisk Maplecroft, a socio-economic and political analysis company, said in its index of global civil unrest that 47 of the world’s 195 countries were affected and that the number could hit 75 in the year ahead.

The UK-based consultancy firm identified Sudan as the most troubled and “extreme risk” country in the world, which had previously been held by Yemen.

According to the report, 2019’s biggest flashpoint locations were Hong Kong and Chile and neither is expected to be “at peace” for at least two years its researchers claim.

“The reasons for the surge in violent unrest are complex and diverse. In Hong Kong, protests erupted in June 2019 over a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China, However, the root cause of discontent has been the rollback of civil and political rights since 1997,” the firm said.

“In Chile, protests have been driven by income inequality and high living costs but were triggered by a seemingly trivial 30-peso (USD0.04) increase in the price of metro tickets,” it added.

Other countries now considered hotbeds unrest include Lebanon, Nigeria and Bolivia. Asia and Africa are disproportionately represented with countries such as Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe also coming under the “extreme risk” label.

Since authoritarian leader Omar Al-Bashir was overthrown in April, Sudan was gripped by protests, violence and killings as armed forces battled democracy supporters for control of the new government.

The index predicts that a further 28 countries examined will see a “deterioration in stability,” suggesting that nearly 40% of all countries will witness disruption and unrest at some point in 2020.

Ukraine, Guinea Bissau and Tajikistan are all expected to see the sharpest rises in unrest, but the report highlights growing concern in the world’s biggest and most powerful countries as well.


Countries identified include the hugely influential nations of Russia, China, Turkey, Brazil and Thailand.

Maplecroft says there will be increased pressure on global firms to exercise corporate responsibility, especially those in countries “rich in natural resources where mining and energy projects often need high levels of protection.”

“However, companies are at substantial danger of complicity if they employ state or private security forces that perpetrate violations,” the report added.