Jakarta. The Jakarta Police killed three suspected drug dealers and confiscated 288 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine during a major drug bust on the Tangerang toll road on Thursday.
Jakarta Police Chief Insp. General Nana Sudjana said the suspects were killed in a shootout after their box van was cornered by his men following a pursuit.
He said the seized crystal meth, locally known as sabu, was valued at hundreds of billions of rupiah. The street drugs were stored in hundreds of plastic meal boxes.
"We seized narcotics in the form of sabu totaling 288 kilograms. If a gram of sabu is priced at Rp 3 million, the total value will reach Rp 864 billion ($63 million). This is a staggering amount of money,” Nana told a press conference at the scene in Tangerang.
He said the pursuit followed a tip-off about a box van with license plate B 9004 PHX allegedly carrying crystal meth driving from the Merak Port in Banten to Jakarta.
The Jakarta Police’s drug unit sent a team to intercept the van on the toll road. The van was spotted in Tangerang but the driver ignored the police call to pull over and instead accelerated, prompting a pursuit by the officers, Nana said.
Police managed to pull the van over by hitting their car on it at KM 23 around the Karawaci area. But the van drove away and the chase continued until the van stopped at an empty land in Serpong, South Tangerang.
As they got out of the van, one of the three suspects opened fire at the approaching officers, Nana said.
"The officers returned fire in self defense. The suspects tried to flee the scene, so officers had to shoot to prevent that," he said.
The three suspects identified by initials G.U.N, A.M. and I.A. were taken to the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in East Jakarta after the shootout but they died due to blood loss, he said.
"The suspects attempted to resist arrest by opening fire, prompting our men to take stern and measured responses. They died as a result,” Nana said.
Police also seized the van with a fake license plate, hand-made guns and three cellphones.
Under the Indonesian law, drug trafficking is a crime punishable by death.