A Jakarta court sentenced eight Taiwanese to death Thursday on charges of trying to smuggle in about 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine last year, the latest foreigners to face a prospective firing squad over Indonesia’s strict anti-narcotics laws.
The eight defendants, all men, were considering whether to appeal the verdict handed down at the South Jakarta Court, their lawyer said. They were found guilty of conspiring to bring in a shipment valued at U.S. $144 million (2 trillion rupiah), officials said.
“The defendants knew what they brought was shabu [methamphetamine] and were aware that they could face severe punishment, but were still doing it,” Chief Judge Effendi Mukhtar said in reading the verdict.
“So the element of evil conspiracy against the law in the form of facilitating the distribution of drugs is fulfilled validly,” he added.
The stash was brought in aboard a Sierra Leone-flagged ship, the “Wanderlust,” when it docked at the port of Anyer, near Jakarta, in July 2017, authorities said.
Three of the defendants – Liao Guan Yu (22), Chen Wei Cyuan (22), and Hsu Yung Li (37) – were arrested during a raid by police at a hotel in Anyer on July 13, 2017.
The three men and another Taiwanese national, Lin Ming Hui, were allegedly picking up the meth, packed in 51 sacks, when the raid occurred. Police shot and killed Lin Ming Hui.
The five other defendants – Juang Jin Sheng (42), Sun Kuo Tai (37), Sun Chih Feng (40), Kuo Chun Yuan (44), and Tsai Chih Hung (56) – were arrested aboard the “Wanderlust” three days later in Batam, Sumatra province as it was sailing to Taiwan, police said.
The decision to send the eight men to death row was weighted on consideration that the defendants were involved in an international crime syndicate whose drug trafficking could “damage the young generation of Indonesia,” Judge Effendi said.
After the verdict, their lawyer, Juan Hutabarat, said his clients would take some time to ponder whether to appeal it.
Full story: BenarNews
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