Caught by the Police or What not to do when partying in Jakarta

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Life, prison
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I realized I have been postponing writing this interesting episode of my life. How did I end up in prison in a foreign land? Every time I watch the National Geographic series “locked up abroad”, I get reminded of the incident. I guess the reason I have been putting it off is that I don’t really want to relive the memory of that night. Perhaps I am still ashamed by it, frightened? Guilty? Or combination of all?

Anyways I have decided to put all these negative feelings aside and relate the incidents that led to my arrest by the corrupt Jakarta cops in Indonesia.

The night was a Saturday. I was attending a party organized by Mark at Zen. It was another ‘heaven on earth’ party where girls, drinks and good loving was in abundance. The interesting thing about the karaoke rooms in Jakarta is that they all come with an attached toilet. In our VIP room, there is another small resting area attached to our room. This rest area had a sofa and links directly to the toilet. So you can imagine what kind of naughty things are going on in this ‘rest room’.

I wasn’t interested in any of those ‘special service’ because Dian was with me. She was the goddess that I met a couple of days earlier and we had built up a pretty strong relationship over the past few days. I was in puppy love. She was a splitting image of this Hong Kong actress called Sonija Kowk.

classy ....

Very quickly, we were all very high thanks to Mark’s ‘five second rule’ of drinking the Johnny Walker.  We were all supposed to proceed to Alexis for the second round of party. However, my dear friend Mark got so drunk that he had to be carried off and escorted back to his apartment. Since this was my last night in Jakarta (my flight was in the evening the next day and I had to report for reservist on Monday), I decided to go with Dian to another club to continue partying. WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE!

There is this club in Jakarta called K7, affectionately pronounced as “Kar-tuju” by the Indonesians. I have frequented this place because the Thai band playing there are my friends. They used to play in Thai Disco at Golden Mile before their stint in Indonesia. However, this was also a place frequented by ecstacy abusers. The drug is easily available as long as you know the waiters well enough. When the DJ plays the techno tunes, you can see a mass of synchronized head shaking. It was an awesome sight to behold.

You see, I am more of a trance person and I don’t really like techno music especially when I am high. So I went to the club strictly to meet up with the band and to spend more time with the lovely Dian. So hand-in-hand, we strolled into the club. By now, the waiters and managers already know us pretty well. The manager showed us to a seat and informed me that the band wasn’t playing that night. What luck!

The waiter came up to our table and asked Dian if we wanted something good. Obviously I understood what he meant. So I ordered two and also a few bottles of mineral water. I thought since there was no live band and we were getting tired, it was a good way to ‘boost’ our energy levels. When the waiter came back, he put two tablets into my hand. I immediately slipped them  into the pocket in my jacket.

I looked around. Most people were in their dream world, shaking their heads, oblivious to the surroundings, only drenched by the high in their bodies and the rhythmic thumping of the music.

I waited about five minutes. My intention was to give half to Dian. Now most of the time, when I would actually go to the toilet, hide in the cubicle and then break the pill or consume. Perhaps I was too high, or perhaps it was just fate. I decided to break the pill at the table. I took out one and put it to my mouth and WHAM! In an instant, I could sense two pair of strong hands grabbing onto my arms and locking them so that I was immediately immobilized.

One of the burly looking men stuck his hand into my mouth to try to dig for the pill. I somehow managed to swallow the entire pill almost instantaneously and he found nothing. I was actually quite impressed with myself until another thought came to my mind. There’s one more in my jacket!!!!

I panicked. The other burly men started digging into my pocket and searching for the treasured item. I was half praying that he could find nothing. For about ten seconds, he seemed to find nothing. I started to relax a little but all my hopes evaporated when he took out the small little white tablet from my pocket.

Before I knew it, they were dragging me out of the club. I haven’t felt this helpless since being shaved bald when I was in the army. It’s amazing how many thoughts were running through my brain when I was being dragged out of K7.

I felt like this turtle when the police dragged me out from the club

Are they real cops? What if they are gangsters or thieves?

Would I go to jail?

I am going to get high in a couple of minutes time. Wouldn’t that be strange?

I should make a run for it. After all, I should be energized and I should outrun all of them.

Damn. I have reservist on Monday.

I swear all these thoughts were running through my mind simultaneously. As they were dragging me to their vehicle, many of the bouncers, and managers of the club came out. Dian was screaming her head off and commanding them to let me go. I wanted to see their credentials but clearly, they were not really paying attention to me.

I was shoved inside a civilian vehicle. At this point, all the bouncers stood in front of the car, refusing to budge. It was  like a scene off a HongKong gangster flick, except this was real!!!!

Dian was trying to reason with the cops but they were simply not listening. I made a quick phone call to one of Mark’s colleague. I told him I was caught up by the police and he immediately advised me to offer all the money I had with me in exchange for my freedom. In my broken Bahasa, I tried to ask the dude sitting next to me if we can have a deal. He kept shaking his head and said no no no.

He started to ask me which hotel I was staying at and if I was a dealer. I remembered laughing out loud cause the whole episode was beginning to seem a bit too comical. Or maybe it was the high kicking in. The bouncers and managers were busy making phone calls to ‘higher authorities’. You see, most clubs in Indonesia, especially clubs where drugs are freely available like K7, Crown and Stadium, the owners would have to pay the police every month so that they keep away or ‘protect’ the club. It was basically a form of bribing.

So for these bunch of dickheads to carry a raid like this in a club like k7, there must be some dispute between the owners and the police. Either that, or this group of clowns are just looking for a quick buck. Dian kept assuring me that everything would be alright and the managers will sort it out for me. That kind of calmed me down a bit.

However, minutes passed by and the police are getting increasingly agitated. They kept shouting at the bouncers to move away so that they could drive the vehicle off. The bouncers didn’t budge. I felt like some mafia boss.

Finally, after half an hour of supposed negotiation, no deal can be brokered and the bouncers relented. I could still remember vividly as the bouncers parted and the vehicle started to move away. Dian was screaming her head off and she was in fact attempting to punch the one of the police through the window, which he quickly wounded up.

I never felt more alone and lonely.

They stopped at my hotel. They tied up my hand with some ruffia strings. The thought that they are just a bunch of ruffians keep floating through my mind. They ransacked my hotel room trying to find any evidence that I was a drug dealer. Obviously they found no drugs but instead they found an envelop containing 20 thousand USD. This money was actually my fee for a commercial project that I did for Mark. I had come to Jakarta to take cash from him instead of doing a bank transfer to avoid the tax from the Indonesian Government. I was beginning to feel it was an extremely stupid idea.

The cops packed my stuff and we headed to the police station. They suspected I was a drug dealer simply because I was carrying so much cash with me. I knew this time round I was done for. A sense of unprecedented panic gripped me like a devil’s claw and refused to let go.

  1. Lana says:

    It’s okay to have fun but your dealing with another country , you should know what rules and regulatioon is in indonesia before doing what ever you want to do. And your intension in giving Dian drugs is not a good idea at all. As a women who is of south East Asian and half Hawaiian; decet. I feel like your intention with Dian are for sexual propeses. what i read from your story and all you gone throught. YOU actually deserve what was coming for you. It was not a good idea to take drugs at all. this will be a learning experince. Please next time just go the beach and have fun.. Go to clubs but your intension should not be doing drugs and bying off hand. i hope you learning your lession for next time…

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