While drug busts at Jakarta’s seedier nightlife establishments are hardly rare, the government is under extra pressure to react harshly when the bust involves a high-profile politician or law enforcement official. And so it seems that Diamond Karaoke & Lounge in Taman Sari, West Jakarta, could lose its license after a prominent Golkar party politician was caught in a drug raid in its premises last night.
Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat said he is setting up an investigative team to determine whether or not Diamond was complicit in drug trafficking.
“We will investigate if the items (illegal narcotics) was provided from inside (the karaoke lounge) or if it was taken in from outside. If they (Diamond) are (found guilty) then we will revoke their license,” Djarot said today, as quoted by Merdeka.
Golkar politician Indra Piliang was reportedly arrested with two others for suspected meth consumption during a drug raid in Diamond at around 7:30pm yesterday. He is still currently in police custody and the police have not revealed the charges against him.
Indra’s arrest might be the second and final strike for Diamond after the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) arrested six people for suspected meth consumption there in April. However, it isn’t clear if they scored the drugs from inside Diamond or elsewhere.
The current Jakarta administration, previously led by former Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, has been known to do more than just talk when it comes to shutting down nightlife establishments for drugs. Back in May 2014, Ahok shut down Jakarta’s most infamous nightclub, Stadium, after a police officer was found to have overdosed in the club. Before its closure, it had been an open secret that revelers could easily purchase drugs in the venue but authorities seemed unwilling or powerless to do anything about it.
Then, in October of last year, the Jakarta provincial government also shut down another infamous nightclub, Mille’s, after a policeman was caught there with meth, ecstasy, and heroin.