30 October 2023 :
An Indonesian court on October 27, 2023 ordered that eight Iranian nationals be executed for smuggling more than 700 pounds (300 kg) of crystal methamphetamine by sea into Java.
The Iranians were arrested in early 2023 after authorities found the stash hidden aboard a ship that brought them to Banten, a province on the western tip of Java island.
The Serang District Court in Banten, about 100 km (62 miles) west of Jakarta, found the defendants guilty of trafficking the drug.
“We hereby sentence the defendants to the death penalty,” Uli Purnama, who led the three-judge panel, said October 27 as he read out the verdict following the trial.
The defendants, who attended the trial with interpreters, said they were considering appealing the verdict. They have seven days to challenge it.
A joint team from the National Narcotics Agency and the customs department seized 319 kg (703 pounds) of methamphetamine hidden under the fuel tank of their ship when the men were arrested in February. Sniffer dogs found 309 packages containing the drug.
The men had been sailing without documents in the waters south of Java.
Prosecutors had sought to spare one of the defendants, Amir Naderi, from being sent to death row. They said he had shown law enforcers where the methamphetamine was stowed away on the ship.
The judges rejected that request, sentencing him to die with the others.
During October 27 courtroom session, the judges heard that the smuggling operation began in January when a man named Ali Baluchazai, who is still at large, asked one of the defendants, Abdul Rahman Zardkuhi, to deliver methamphetamine to Indonesia by sea by promising 80 million Iranian rials (U.S. $1,883).
Zardkuhi then recruited the other defendants, divided the money and departed by boat from Pozm Port, about 1,700 km. (1,056 miles) southeast of Tehran, the prosecution said. They received the methamphetamine package on their way and continued sailing to Indonesian waters.