'Can't bribe crocodiles': Indonesia may use reptiles as prison guards

© Alexandre Meneghini
Indonesia’s anti-drug agency chief is reportedly planning to build a prison on a remote island which will be guarded by crocodiles. He claims the snapping reptiles can’t be bribed, unlike human warders, and definitely won’t let inmates escape.

“We will place as many crocodiles as we can there. I will search for the most ferocious type of crocodile," National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Budi Waseso said, as cited by Indonesian news portal Tempo.

Waseso is eager to build a special prison for drug dealers on a remote island and was trying to come up with a way to prevent drug offenders from controlling the narcotics deals from behind bars – quite a common practice in Indonesia. The crocodiles seem to be the best way out to him.

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

The inmates will be literally separated from the outside world and will have to survive on their own (and to get along with the crocodiles).

“We will keep sending them food supplies every day. But they have to survive on their own,” he said.

Waseso plans to visit a crocodile farm in the city of Medan, North Sumatra, as well as Papua province and the island of Sulawesi in search of the most dangerous breeds.

He says he informed the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, which administers law and human rights, about the ‘crocodile prison’ plan. Reportedly, the ministry hasn’t yet approved the proposal.

Waseso is known for his controversial statements regarding drug smugglers. In September this year he called for the government to execute drug convicts who were on a death row. In October he called foreign drug offenders “killers”.

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

Indonesia has some of the toughest drug laws in the world. President Joko Widodo has repeatedly insisted that drug offenders must face the death penalty, adding that Indonesia is facing a "national emergency" due to rising narcotics use.