3 Pinoys may face death in Indonesia for drug smuggling

Agence France Presse

Posted at Apr 09 2013 07:08 PM | Updated as of Apr 10 2013 03:08 AM

JAKARTA - Three Philippine men could face the death penalty in Indonesia after being caught trying to smuggle methamphetamine with a street value of $2.1 million into the country, an official said Tuesday.

The trio were arrested last week with the 15.3-kilogram (33.7-pound) drugs haul after arriving from Hong Kong at the main airport serving the capital Jakarta, customs official Okto Irianto told reporters.

"They hid the crystal methamphetamine in 15 boxes of milk powder. Each brought five boxes in their suitcase," he said.

The trio, whose names were not released, allegedly carried the drugs -- which the official said had a street value of $2.1 million -- with them in their hand luggage.

The men, one aged in his 40s, one in his 50s, and the third 61, admitted having previously smuggled drugs into other countries, according to Irianto.

"They are professional couriers and this was their first attempt to smuggle drugs into Indonesia," Irianto said. Police are quizzing them to find out more details about the drug-smuggling gang they worked with.

They could face the death penalty if found guilty under Indonesia's tough drugs laws, Irianto said.

Foreigners are frequently arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into Indonesia, including many on Bali who are held in the resort island's notorious Kerobokan prison.

On Monday Briton Lindsay Sandiford lost her first attempt to appeal a death sentence imposed in January after she was caught arriving in Bali carrying cocaine with an estimated street value of $2.4 million.