[Updated at 11:00 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015, to add background]
Jakarta. The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a life sentence for an Indonesian drug kingpin found guilty of smuggling thousands of ecstasy pills and kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from Malaysia.
"Sentencing [the defendant] to a life in prison," the court wrote on its official website on Monday.
La Ode Masri was a part of an international syndicate that smuggled drugs from Malaysia to Jakarta via Batam, the largest city in Riau Islands province.
The 45-year-old started smuggling drugs in January 2012, according to testimony read in court. He claimed he was ordered to smuggle the drugs by a woman identified as Ling Ling, who is still at large.
La Ode's first attempt to import drugs to Indonesia — 100 kilograms of ecstasy pills and 20 kilograms of methamphetamine — failed in January 2012 when police arrested a courier.
La Ode and Ling Ling made their second attempt in November 2012, successfully smuggling 175,000 ecstasy pills and 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine to Jakarta, according to testimony heard in court.
La Ode's luck ran out in February 2013, however, when he was arrested in Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta with 116 ecstasy pills on him. Police later seized 100,000 ecstasy pills and 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from his couriers.
La Ode was sentenced to life by North Jakarta District Court in November 2013 and immediately filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Last month, in a raid in North Jakarta, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) arrested an Indonesian and a Pakistani for possession of a massive stash of crystal meth and ecstasy.
Earlier in the month, the BNN said it had confiscated 15 kilograms of crystal meth and 22,000 ecstasy pills during the raid.
Also in March, police confiscated 2.1 kilograms of crystal meth and 9,000 ecstasy pills on a boat that was anchored at Surabaya’s Tanjung Perak Port.
The traffickers are suspected of having attempted to transport the drugs from Aceh province to Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan province. Three of them were arrested in Surabaya, but a fourth courier and the producers of the drugs are still on the run.
Each trafficker would have made a sum of Rp 50 million ($3,800) if they had succeeded in distributing the drugs as planned, according to Adj. Comr. Kharisudin, the head of the anti-narcotics division at the Tanjung Perak Police.