Kerobokan Prison guard arrested for smuggling ecstasy into prison for IDR3 million payment

This general view shows the exterior of the notorious Kerobokan Prison in Bali. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP
This general view shows the exterior of the notorious Kerobokan Prison in Bali. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

A guard at Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs into the correctional facility in a case that illustrates how the financial desperation among law enforcement officers has led to endemic corruption in the country’s prison system.

The Bali chapter of the National Narcotics Agency (BNNP Bali) arrested the guard, identified as Made Teguh, on Saturday morning. The 27-year-old prison guard was accused of smuggling ecstasy into Kerobokan under the orders of imprisoned drug dealer Surya Adi, who has served three years of his five-year sentence in Kerobokan.

According to police, Made Teguh was tasked with picking up 590 ecstacy tablets, which had been wrapped inside 20 instant coffee packets, from an unidentified supplier from a prison in Madiun, East Java. He smuggled the drugs into Kerobokan, where they were sold to other inmates.

The amount Made was supposedly set to make from completing the job seems quite small, especially in comparison to its enormous legal risks.

“Made Teguh was paid IDR3 million (US$213) by the suspect, Surya Adi, to smuggle the drugs into the prison. He was paid via bank transfer, and so far has only been paid IDR500,000. The rest hasn’t been paid,” BNNP Bali Chief I Putu Gede Swastawa said yesterday, as quoted by Radar Bali

BNNP Bali has also questioned other prison guards about the drug smuggling. Other than the illegal narcotics, officers also confiscated one cell phone and three ATM cards from Made Teguh and two cell phones and 5 bankbooks belonging to Surya Adi.

Made Teguh, who had served as a prison guard at Kerobokan since 2010, was dismissed from his job as announced at a police press conference today. Both Made Teguh and Surya Adi have been charged with drug trafficking under Article 114 of Indonesia Law on Narcotics, meaning each could face up to 20 years in prison and be given a fine of IDR1 billion to 10 billion.

Corruption and narcotics are rife in Indonesia’s correctional system, in large part due to a lack of resources from the government that has led to prisons that are vastly overpopulated with inmates and understaffed with prison guards who are severely underpaid.

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