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Indonesian police’s manhunt across borders for international drug trafficker Fredy Pratama

Indonesian police intensify efforts to capture international drug trafficker Fredy Pratama, whose network spans three countries while facing questions about the delayed action.

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INDONESIA: The Indonesian National Police (Polri) is continuing its relentless search for the whereabouts of international drug trafficker Fredy Pratama, also known as Miming.

The pursuit of this high-profile criminal has involved law enforcement agencies in three countries: Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Fredy is wanted for his involvement in Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) related to narcotics and Money Laundering (TPPU).

Fredy Pratama’s Vast Network

Fredy Pratama, operating under the alias “Cassanova,” is believed to have orchestrated his network from Thailand, with operations extending into both Indonesia and Malaysia.

In Indonesia, Fredy Pratama had two trusted associates responsible for managing finances and drug distribution in different regions.

Brigadier General Mukti Juharsa, Director of Narcotics at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Indonesian National Police (Bareskrim Polri), explained to Detikcom on Friday (15 Sep), “Fredy Pratama has two associates, one handling the western region and the other the eastern region.”

For the western region, which covers Sumatra and Java, Fredy entrusted the task to an individual known as Kif. Meanwhile, the eastern region, encompassing Kalimantan and Sulawesi, was under the supervision of WJ.

Director of Narcotics Criminal Investigations Division of the Indonesian National Police (Bareskrim Polri), Brigadier General Mukti Juharsa. (Photo: Detikcom)

Fredy Pratama’s Drug Supply – Yaba Pills

Preliminary findings by the police have revealed that Fredy Pratama was involved in the supply of Yaba pills to Indonesia. These Yaba pills, belonging to category one, are sourced directly from Thailand.

Brigadier General Mukti confirmed this, stating, “Yes, it’s Yaba pills, category one. Yes, it’s the only one coming from Thailand, from Fredy Pratama himself,” said Mukti when confirmed on Saturday (16 Sep).

Yaba, a type of narcotic, has been in circulation since 2002 in Bangladesh. In Thai, Yaba translates to “Crazy Pill,” signifying its potent and addictive nature.

According to Mukti, Yaba pills have been repeatedly uncovered by law enforcement agencies in Indonesia, with suspicion pointing towards Fredy’s network as a major source. The distribution of Yaba pills follows a similar route to that of methamphetamine (sabu) in Indonesia.

Fredy’s Role as a Facilitator

Deputy Director of Narcotics Criminal Investigations Division of the Indonesian National Police (Bareskrim Polri), Commissioner General Jayadi, explained that Fredy Pratama primarily acted as a facilitator between foreign narcotics producers and distributors in Indonesia.

He is said to have managed the foreign suppliers while connecting them with the local network in Indonesia. The source of these illicit goods is still under investigation.

Fredy’s Involvement in the Golden Triangle

In a surprising revelation, it has come to light that Fredy Pratama’s father-in-law is part of a drug cartel operating in the Golden Triangle region.

The Golden Triangle, located in Southeast Asia, has historically been a hub for the global narcotics trade, covering parts of Burma, China, Laos, and Thailand. This region has been known for opium cultivation since the 16th and 17th centuries.

Furthermore, Fredy Pratama was involved in purchasing narcotics from the Golden Triangle region, which were subsequently packaged in Thailand as Chinese tea before being sent to Malaysia and further distributed to Indonesia. This information suggests that Fredy may still be hiding in Thailand, alongside his Thai wife.

Delayed Red Notice Issuance

The Indonesian National Police (Polri) issued a red notice for international drug trafficker Fredy Pratama in June 2023, shortly after his syndicate was uncovered in May 2023. Surprisingly, this red notice was only issued after Fredy had been a fugitive and on the wanted list (DPO) for nine years, starting in 2014.

Calls for Transparency

The delayed issuance of the red notice has raised questions among the public regarding the Indonesian National Police’s handling of the case.

Police observer Bambang Rukminto from the Institute for Security and Strategic Studies (ISESS) has urged Polri to explain why the red notice for Fredy was issued after such a lengthy delay.

Bambang emphasized that the “Presisi” (precision) initiative introduced by Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo should require transparency and public explanations from law enforcement, as he stated to Kompas.com on Thursday (14 Sep).

When confirmed on Thursday (14 Sep), Mukti stated, “Because the syndicate was just recently exposed. It started unravelling in May last year, which is why the red notice was issued by Hubinter (International Relations Division of the Indonesian National Police).”

“However, he has already been issued a red notice, so he can’t really go anywhere unless he falsifies his identity. But we will track him down wherever he may be,” Mukti added.

Extraordinary Measures in the Fight Against Drugs

Indonesia is currently facing a complex drug trafficking problem, prompting President Joko Widodo to call for extraordinary measures to combat drug abuse.

The President stressed the need for more stringent law enforcement against drug offenders, even within the ranks of law enforcement agencies, where some individuals have been found complicit in drug-related activities.

Petrus Golose, the Head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), has confirmed that the fight against drugs in Indonesia is being approached with extraordinary measures, similar to how the government addresses inflation and stunting. President Joko Widodo has provided clear directives to address the drug issue effectively.

President Joko Widodo while leading a closed-door meeting discussing the issue of narcotics at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday (11 Sep). (Photo: KOMPAS.com)

Prioritizing Drug Eradication

Petrus explained that ten regions in Indonesia have been designated as high-priority areas for combating drug abuse. Sumatera Utara (North Sumatra) is one of them.

The extraordinary measures will focus on law enforcement, prevention, and rehabilitation within the framework of legal norms. Indonesia currently faces a drug prevalence rate of 1.95%, equivalent to 3.66 million individuals.

Opportunity for Police Cleanup

Bambang Rukminto expressed concerns about the delay in capturing Fredy, suggesting that it has fueled public suspicions of internal involvement within the Indonesian National Police in drug trafficking.

This concern is substantiated by the involvement of former Head of the Drug Crimes Division (Satresnarkoba) of South Lampung Regional Police, Police Commissioner AG, who was arrested in June 2023 for his ties to Fredy’s network.

AG is suspected of acting as a courier for another Fredy associate named Kadafi, who happens to be the husband of celebgram APS.

Bambang argued that the pursuit and capture of Fredy should serve as an opportunity for Polri to clean its ranks of personnel involved in drug syndicates.

The momentum created by this case is deemed critical, as previous revelations, including the involvement of former West Sumatra Police Chief Inspector General Teddy Minahasa in drug trafficking, did not yield the desired deterrent effect due to weak oversight, inconsistent ethical standards, and discipline enforcement.

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They should look in Sentosa. A very high probability of finding him there like the Myanmar arms dealers.

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