JAKARTA: Eight Taiwanese drug smugglers were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court after being nabbed with around a tonne of crystal methamphetamine in a country that has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws.
The men were arrested during raids last July, when the drug network’s suspected leader was killed in a shootout with Indonesian police.
“The defendants have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of colluding and smuggling narcotics,” presiding judge Haruno Patriadi said as he passed sentence at the South Jakarta District Court.
Tipped off by their Taiwanese counterparts, Indonesian police said they discovered some 1,000 kilograms of crystal meth – shipped by boat from China – packed inside about 50 boxes. The haul was reportedly worth some US$144 million (S$191 million).
Some of the suspects were arrested at a beach where the drugs were delivered some 125 kilometres west of Jakarta, while others were apprehended in the suspected drug boat near Singaporean waters.
The sentence passed on the men – Liao Guan-Yu, Chen Wei-Cyuan, Hsu Yung-Li, Juang Jin Sheng, Sun Kuo Tai, Sun Chih-Feng, Kuo Chun Yuan, and Tsai Chih Hung – comes after 11 other Taiwanese drug smugglers were executed in Indonesia in recent years.