An Indonesian court sentenced eight Taiwanese to death for trying to smuggle 1 ton of crystal methamphetamine into the country from China.
Five were convicted in one trial, and the other three in a separate trial, before the South Jakarta District Court.
“The defendants have been found legally and convincingly guilty of committing an evil conspiracy…by importing 1 ton of drugs…and therefore the judicial panel sentenced them to death,” Presiding Judge Haruno Patriadi said in announcing the verdict in the trial of five Taiwanese.
“What they did would endanger the nation and destroy the young generation,” the judge added.
The other three were also sentenced by the same court on Thursday to death for the same crime.
Those three had been arrested by Indonesian police during a raid on a pier of a disused hotel in the town of Serang in Banten Province, bordering Jakarta, at the time the drug shipment arrived.
The other five were arrested.
The arrests were made following a two-month investigation, in cooperation with Taiwanese police.
At the time, the seizure of the crystal methamphetamine, known locally as “shabu-shabu,” was the largest ever of that drug in Southeast Asia, and the biggest in Indonesia since 840 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was seized in 2015, according to police.
The 2015 seizure also involved drug smuggled from China.
In February this year, 1.8 tons of crystal meth was seized from a Singapore-flagged vessel in waters around Batam Island, near Singapore, and four Taiwanese were arrested.
The drugs seized last July had an estimated street value of 1.5 trillion rupiah (about $108 million), according to police.
The National Narcotics Agency said recently more than five million Indonesians were drug addicts, mostly consuming crystal methamphetamine coming from China, Europe and South America.
It also said 72 international drug cartels were believed to be trafficking crystal methamphetamine in Indonesia, the most in Southeast Asia.