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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Indonesia ecstasy gang face death
Ecstasy pills
The factory could produce a huge quantity of the drug
A Frenchman, a Dutchman and five Chinese nationals have been sentenced to death in Indonesia for setting up an illegal factory producing ecstasy.

Prosecutors said the factory was one of the biggest ever found in South-East Asia, capable of producing one million pills of the drug per week.

An official said the Europeans had provided the technical expertise, and the Chinese had funded the operation.

Indonesia is a growing market for drugs and also a transit point for shipments.

The seven men were convicted in trials last year, but were sentenced on Tuesday.

"We decided to deliver the death penalty because it is related to international organised crime which is very dangerous," Supreme Court spokesman Djoko Sarwokohe told the French news agency AFP.

During the trials last year, prosecutors said the factory in Serang, 60km (35 miles) west of Jakarta, was capable of producing drugs worth 100bn rupiah ($11m. 5.5m) per week.

Police seized more than 100kg (220 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, thousands of ecstasy pills and more than 300 drums of raw ingredients during a raid in November 2005, AFP said.

Courts in Indonesia are handing down increasingly severe sentences to drugs offenders as the country's role in the drugs trade grows, officials said.

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