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.


At least two killed as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in German town

Updated 45 min 39 sec ago

At least two killed as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in German town

  • The driver was arrested and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police tweeted
  • Two people have died, and 15 others had suffered serious injuries

BERLIN: At least two people including a child were killed and up to 15 injured on Tuesday when a speeding car ploughed into a pedestrian area in the western German city of Trier, authorities said.
Witnesses said people screamed in panic and some were thrown into the air by the car as it crashed through the shopping zone.
Police said several people had been killed, having earlier put the death toll at two, with more than 10 injured. The local newspaper, the Trierischer Volksfreund, put the death toll at four, including a child, but police did not confirm that figure.
"We have arrested one person, one vehicle has been secured," police said, adding that a 51-year-old German suspect from the Trier area was being questioned, police said.
Mayor Wolfram Leibe had rushed to the scene.
"We have a driver who ran amok in the city. We have two dead that we are certain of and up to 15 injured, some of them with the most severe injuries," he told public broadcaster SWR.
"I just walked through the city centre and it was just horrible. There is a trainer lying on the ground, and the girl it belongs to is dead," he told a news conference, with tears stopping him from speaking further.
He told broadcaster N-TV that people who saw the incident were "totally traumatised" and the street "looks a bit like after a war".
Leibe said he did not know the motive for the incident, which shocked residents of Germany's oldest town, founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
The Trierischer Volksfreund quoted an eyewitness as saying a Range Rover was driving at high speed and people had been thrown through the air. It said the car had Trier plates.
It reported that people screamed in panic when the car drove through the street.
Officers were scouring the area in search of evidence, backed by police dressed in flak jackets and carrying rifles. On the streets, Christmas lights twinkled incongruously.
Germany has tightened security on pedestrian zones across the country since a truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market in 2016 that killed 12 people and injured dozens.
In October 2019, a man opened fire on a synagogue in the city of Halle. After failing to get into the building he went on a rampage outside, killing two people.
In February this year a racist gunman killed nine migrants in Hanau near Frankfurt before killing his mother and himself. Only about a week later, a local man ploughed his car into a carnival parade in the town of Volkmarsen, injuring 61.
Germany has tightened measures to fight the coronavirus, with bars and restaurants closed, but shops and schools are still open.
"What happened in Trier is shocking. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for the victims," Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said on Twitter.