Tempo Semanal- 24/10/2012
Citizens of Indoensia, Africa, China and Australia and other foreigners know that Timor Leste’s law gives light punishment to those that traffic drugs, and the fragility of the security institutions in the airport, port and land make them choose this nation as a destination to use as a free zone of drug transit, to send on to other nations in this region, especially Indonesia and Australia, passing from the sea and land.
These illegal activities were detected. In the past week from 18 till 20 of October, the security authorities of east Timor captured four Indonesians and one Mozambique citizen together with two bags contains of sabu-sabu drugs which smuggling from Africa through Singapore.
On Saturday (20/10/2012) the security authorities of Timor captured citizens of Indonesia and took a red bag that entered in the baggage section of the Silk Air plane from Signapore to Dili, close to two and half kilos of Sabu in it. At noon, the wheels of the Silk Air plane began to hit the tarmac at the Nicolao Lobato airport, Comoro. Some people stepped forward to get close to the gate in the eastern part of the terminal passing from the front of the cafeteria for to advice that “come already” said people that wore civil clothes, wore hat, but many people knew that the official was from security forces of Timor.
The people that came with Silk Air began to go out from the arrival room and some went directly to the cars that were ready for them, but the people in the airport were surprised with one Indonesian citizen that carry red bag, returned to the western terminal and one PNTL authority with a small camera filmed from the back. What is happening, asked one foreign woman who wanted to know about the captured red bag.
According to those in charge in the airport, Indonesian citizens were captured by the Timorese because of suspicion that he was involved in drug trafficking through Singpore to Timor-Leste, passing from Silk Air, for to export again to Indonesia.
“More or less, the bag weighed 18 kilos and had drugs of more than 2 kilos inside” said the top Timorese authority who also assisted the process of checked the bag document.
Just after the security officials captured the citizen of Indonesia, whom pulled the bag that was referred to a nearby taxi. “The person that comes from Indoneisa, come to take the bag of drugs to bring to Indonesia, said person that is also close to the authorities”.
Present in the airport were the head of the national intelligence service and the director of investigations for PNTL together with members of PNTL and also other secret service workers.
When this newspaper tried to ask for clarification from the Investigating Commander, Calistro Gonzaga, he didn’t want to comment until he had already given information about the situation to the Xanana Gusmao as Prime Minster who is also the Minsiter for Defense and Security for Timor.
According to information Tempo Semanal gather, said that the independent nation of Timor Leste will transfer the several suspects to the ex-occupying nation of 24 years. Indeed, when the journalists from Tempo Semanal asked for clarification from east Timor police Commissioner, Dr. Longouhos Monteiro, who just came from the inauguration for the Ministry of Defense of Security for the 5th government in presidential Palace, he said, “We are still in discussion, because it has entered into international circles”.
Longuinhos didn’t want to elaborate further with details. But he said “tomorrow (23/20) there will be a press conference to present evidence with the suspects to the public.”
Meanwhile, Tempo Semanal notes that from the 18th until the 20th of October, the security officials of Timor began to capture foreigners that they suspected of being involved in trafficking drugs in three hotels in the capital.
According to several people that work in Hotel Central, who asked Tempo Semanal not to publish their names said, “on 18/10/2012 one Indonesian that stay in room number 20 was captured in the middle of the night”.
This Indonesian citizen, with the initials AT, was suspected of bringing drugs from abroad, transiting through Dili to other nations like Indonesia.
On 18/10/2012 security officials also captured two other citizens of Indonesia in the same hotel but in separate rooms, with the initials RS and S.
Also, information that this journal found indicates that security officials also captured a person from Africa in Hotel Ventura. “True, yesterday (20/10), a foreigner living in one room here in this Hotel, was held by the police” said a person who works in the hotel which used to be Paximus and now change it name to Ventura.
On the same day in Central Hotel, several people saw an Indonesian citizen captured by the security officials, when he went in to the hotel bring with a bag to some of his friends in Hotel Central whom are under the control of Timorese Authorities already.
It is confirmed that four Indonesian citizens and one African were held in Hotel Central for three days, together with two bags that were filled with drugs inside, together more than close to 8 kilos.
The incidents in October were not the first to happen-There were happened many times already. But the security officials of this nation lack the environment/resources to conduct their work and the laws of this nation are not strong. So, on 20th of August, this year, Tempo Semanal found some Indonesians came to receive drugs that were send from abroad to Indonesia.
Foreigners use Timor-Leste as a safe path for drug activities and as high way for drugs traffickers to import and export drugs from Africa to the region. Appears like the incident 2 months back when had 4 suspects that were finally captured in Brenton hotel, in kupang in the early morning on 22/10, that finally the authorities of Polri in NTT said these drugs were imported from Timor Leste to Indonesia. In that moment Indonesian citizens come to take 5 kilos of drugs in two separate hotels in the capital of Timor-Leste to bring through border between Timor Leste and Indonesian into west Timor with travel bus.
Commenting about this incident, young people that live in Bekora say that they feel sad and ask to the parliament to make a law for to give heavy punishment to foreigners and Timorese that commit trafficking, to give punishment of life in jail and if possible, give food one time per day. “I think that we all need to open our eyes to the activities of drugs and ask to parliament to make a strong law to give heavy punishment although not death penalty but we to punish as heavy and the law needs to give heavy punishment and if possible we urge to authorities to give food to them one day one time. Because, these people will destroy our nation”, says Albino da Costa.
TEMPO SEMANAL was told that drug activities have reached the school children. A film that appeared showed sad images about the future generation of RDTL using drugs and dancing in a room although still wear their school uniform. This film shows the young age they begin to enter already into drug use.
"I think that this problem that we confront, we give small penalty, so that often times the drugs come here for to endanger to other places, when pass to Indonesia, this shows they prfer to pass from here. After Singapaore come here, we are also a little fragile because people not very separate-- people have the possibility to pass from Singpare to here. Their inspections are not very separate like in other places. With this weakness, now the people not bring directly to Indonesia but passing from Timor Leste and also they see opportunities to bring to other places from this country."
When asked if perhaps MP Duarte Nunes, has some thoughts to propose about strengthening the law against drugs, like in Indonesia has, members of CNRT said, “Yes, as a nation that has strong neighbors, we also need to be strong for to not give image that we are soft. The law needs to be strong so that when we capture we don’t have the death penalty, but at least give maximum. This I think our apparatus and also look to show our face. Looks indeed processes, if we don’t capture people, they won’t be scared”.
The CNRT ruling party MP is part of commission that supervises the issues of defense and secutity that says generally, drug activity goes together with prostitution, in hotels, restaurants and bars. Thus, he recognizes that Timor-Lese has now become a doorway for drugs to enter easily. “The incident that recently happened, people brought drugs, after that the police followed them to capture them in Kupang. They pass from here and go to Indonesia. They don’t enter directly to Indonesia. Because they say that Indonesia is too risky, so instead go from here. We are much weaker in terms of our vigilance. Weaker, weaker, and people have learn our weaknesses. Our hotels don’t have tools to inspect that which people enter have good intentions. I see its very dangerous”, said a man from the ex-secretary FEL/FC Pedro Nunes Sabalae.
Duarte Nunes proposes to the institution of PNTL to enter first their proposal for a budget in order to to elevate their capacity to combat forbidden activities. “When I talk about these things, I don’t yet see any proposals enter into Commission B. I think perhaps there aren’t any. If there is not any plans or thought, sometimes we also don’t know. We need to have some proposal from their commanders of they need,” Duarte said with a smile.
“I think we need to give maximum penalty if we want to seriously combat this thing for to give the message to other people that we also don’t permit or won’t give validity to things to go freely. Other nations’ laws permit to kill but if ours does not permit to kill, but instead makes our penalties ligher, then people will play with us”.
Members of parliament recognize the seriousness of destructiveness of drugs to our country. “This is very dangers, if destroys the future of young people in our nation, where we will go This danger like a disease to them if we don’t combat it”.
He said that the war today doesn’t use weapons but with drugs and prostitutes only, but this is also very dangerous for the stability of our country. “People don’t kill us directly but rather with things that give big danger our nation”.
Duarte asked to the state for to perhaps test the urine of students, those people that work on the border, members of F-FDTL and PNTL, for to identify perhaps if some people use drugs o not. He added that in many nations now they make tests like this.
Mean while Prime Minister Xanana is very happy with the East Timorese police operation to combat the drugs smuggler but he is concerned of his country been use as a transit path for drugs smuggling. “No need for us to know who are they. The process is indeed like this. But just want to say, things that we captured is small but very important for to close the path to our country becoming a transit zone for these drugs activities,” said Xanana.
Xanana went to East Timor Police head quarter to inspect the drugs and the suspect and hold a press conference on 23/10/2012 said his new police get some support from Indonesia police to fight the drugs dealers by said, “Good coordination conducted with Indonesia is an utmost to as you saw these man, (Xanana look at to the suspects).”
He explained, “following information that came from the police in September, there was an operation outside of the border, that captured people. We also don’t want drugs trafficking through our land. Like other countries we will have to make a big effort, because this thing (drugs) is bad for the youth.”
Xanana recognized the danger of the drudgs for the Timorese young people, “I ask to all the young people to be careful with these things because until now, we will not turn out well when we ingest these bad drugs.”
As minister for defense and Security Xanana order, “the PNTL and FDTL must organize themselves better, because these things come from planes and sea, we all need to make effort to close the paths.”
“These things are distributed to Indonesia. But we don’t know if they can also be distributed to Australia. Perhaps because we are still poor, so not many use drugs because people don’t really have money to buy it,” Xanana acknowledge.
“Looking to this drug issue, I give advice to all the citizens, especially young people that, from now on perhaps some people are using drugs or buy medicine/drugs, please inform to police so let us not forgive these people because these things are going to destroy our society, especially the youth.”
“Thus, I congratulate all your good work and continue to push yourself, because people like this don’t stop to smuggle drugs through our country. They will continue to test our force, to prove our desire and provoke our promise for to cut off these drugs smuggler trough our land. But they will still try to come.”
“I ask to police officials, especially those that work in intelligence area to strengthen your spirit and thoughts in your heads, to show to the world that we also participate to eliminate and destroy this drugs dealers activities.”
“I know that there will be many difficulties that we are facing to fight the drugs dealers, now I appeal to all the officials to take care our young police members so work together to combat drugs smuggling activities. Because when our land is full of bad drugs, we will have many difficulties.”
In his statement Prime minister remind the public of the negative impact from the drugs on the Timorese young people. “We all know that recently, there is an incident occurred in the American Embassy, people that took drugs will lost control inside their family and also lost their dignity as people,” Xanana said.
“The operation was complex and conducted to capture them. But I continue to give advice that the drugs smugglers will continue to try.”