Indonesian police have arrested a German man and three Indonesians on Bali Island for allegedly making crystal methamphetamine in a secret lab. Police said that they also seized 10 grams of crystal meth from them along with bags of powders and bottles used to produce the drug.
The man, aged 35, was detained on Monday (22 August), along with his transgender partner and two local men. Authorities suspect that the group was producing the drugs mostly for personal consumption, with only a small amount sold to others on the island.
The death penalty is imposed on drug offenders in certain cases in Indonesia. However, these arrested individuals could escape capital punishment, considering the small amount of drugs seized from them. They face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty, the narcotics agency was quoted by the Agence France Presse as saying.
Indonesia's anti-drugs agency official I Ketut Arta reportedly said the German was the mastermind "who came up with the idea to start the meth lab four months ago".
"The clandestine lab did not start producing until a month ago... it was producing on a small scale," the agency official added.
Police did not disclose the identity of the arrested German, who was detained in the Kerobokan area of Bali. The transgender woman was also detained with the man, but the other two men were detained at different locations in the same area.
The German had been living on the island town for eight years, claiming to be a real estate businessman, the anti-drugs agency reportedly said.
Indonesia carried out its third round of executions of drug convicts in July, despite the first two rounds in 2015 being internally criticised.