Jakarta. The National Police's antidrug unit has arrested a Dutch national charged with smuggling liquid synthetic cannabis for electronic cigarettes, officials said on Wednesday (01/11).
The man was nabbed last week in Batu Belig, Bali, after a police and customs office investigation, the antidrug unit's deputy director John Panjaitan told the Jakarta Globe.
Known only by his initials MGL, the man may face 20 years in prison, if convicted. Police seized 4,140 milliliters of liquid for electronic cigarettes, which contained synthetic cannabis, purchased from the Dutchman's network.
"We found that [the liquids for] e-cigarettes, which are so popular among the youth, have been mixed with liquid synthetic cannabis," John said at the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) headquarters.
E-cigarettes with liquid synthetic cannabis, known among users as Omega, are stronger than other kinds of synthetic cannabises, like the so-called Gorilla and Hanoman tobacco, he said.
"Omega is blended in such away that only two puffs can make one intoxicated," John said, adding that the Dutchman's network sells "the special vape" online and police are still searching for another suspect, who is marketing the products from Netherlands-based shop Hardcovervapers.
According to John, the arrest of the 40-year was part of the four antidrug operations conducted in September and October with the help of customs officers. Seven people, including one woman, have been arrested so far.
Customs have tipped the police to drugs smuggled as food flavorings and acrylic paint, Soekarno-Hatta International airport customs head Erwin Situmorang said.
"We found suspicious packages that were declared as acrylic paint and food flavorings ... then we examined them at our laboratory, then at a police laboratory," he told the Jakarta Globe.
"From the laboratory tests we knew it was not what it was declared, but cannabinoids."
He said that since drug smugglers often use fake addresses, customs and police investigators conducted a counter delivery operation and found several households producing narcotics.
The synthetic cannabis liquid and powder seized by officers came from Shanghai and Hong Kong in China, and the Netherlands.