Indonesian cop charged over French drug suspect’s jailbreak

LOMBOK, Indonesia (AFP) – An Indonesian police officer has been arrested for allegedly taking a bribe to help a French drugs suspect escape from jail, authorities said yesterday, as the search for the fugitive continued.

The female officer – head of inmate security at the police detention centre on Lombok island – received USD1,000 before Felix Dorfin’s jailbreak nearly two weeks ago, police alleged.

The 35-year-old Frenchman was arrested in September allegedly carrying a false-bottomed suitcase filled with four kilogrammes of drugs – including cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines – at the airport on the holiday island next to Bali.

Dorfin was awaiting trial in a possible death penalty case when he fled.

Indonesia has some of the world’s strictest drug laws – including execution by firing squad for some traffickers.

Frenchman Felix Dorfin under escort. – AFP

The accused officer, who was only identified by her initials TM, received a wire transfer of some Rp14.5 million (USD1,040) from Dorfin’s parents before the escape, police claimed.

She used some of the wired funds to buy items for Dorfin including a mobile phone with a SIM card, and she also gave him a blanket which he may have used in the escape, according to authorities.

“The money was transferred by the suspect’s parents,” West Nusa Tenggara senior police officer Agus Salim told reporters on Thursday.

Dorfin’s parents could not immediately be reached for comment.

Authorities initially said they believed Dorfin sawed through iron bars on a second-floor window and then rappelled to freedom with sarongs and blankets tied together.

But they later said it was still unclear exactly how he made good on his escape.