Indonesia plans to recruit crocodiles to guard prison

Indonesia’s narcotics agency has called for a prison on an island guarded by crocodiles to hold death-row drug convicts, an official has said.

It is a notion apparently lifted from a James Bond film.

Drugs chief Budi Waseso, who says he will tour the nation looking for reptiles to guard the jail, is apparently the brains behind the project.

“We will place as many crocodiles as we can there. I will search for the most ferocious type of crocodile,” the news website Tempo quoted him saying.

Waseso said the reptiles would be better at stopping traffickers from escaping as they could not be bribed – unlike human guards.

“You can’t bribe crocodiles. You can’t convince them to let inmates escape,” he said.

He might be assuming that the inmates will lack the ability of Roger Moore’s 007 in the Bond movie “Live and Let Die” to escape by using the beasts as stepping stones.

Waseso is known for his controversial remarks on drugs. In September, he called for drug convicts on a death row to be executed. Last month, he called foreign drug offenders “killers”.

“They are enemies of the state. The threat is clear,” he said.

No location or opening date for the prison has been released. Indonesia already has some of the toughest drugs laws in the world, including death by firing squad for traffickers.

Jakarta sparked international condemnation in April when it put to death seven foreign drug convicts, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

But President Joko Widodo said dealers must face death as the country was fighting a “national emergency” due to rising drug use.

Indonesia’s corrupt prison system is awash with narcotics and inmates and jail officers are regularly arrested.

Drugs agency spokesperson Slamet Pribadi said a plan was under consideration to build “a special prison for death row convicts”.

He said only traffickers would be held in the jail to stop them mixing with other inmates and recruiting them to drug gangs.

The agency was in discussion with the Ministry of Justice about the prison, he added.


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