News focus – Drug rings keep challenging Indonesias law enforcers By Rahmad Nasution

Bogor, W Java, (ANTARA News) - The National Narcotics Agencys (BNN) success in thwarting an attempt to smuggle some 1.4 tonnes of marijuana into Banten and West Java Provinces on January 30, 2019, has confirmed the precise mapping of law enforcers.

Based on the National Polices mapping disclosed in early January, West Java, North Sumatra, and South Sumatra were the top three provinces with the highest number of drug cases.

The police also remain cautious about marijuana trafficking from Aceh Province to cities in Java Island through Lampung Province, and cross-border drug smuggling activities, particularly those from Malaysia into Dumai, Riau Province.

On Wednesday (Jan 30), the BNN and Customs and Excise Directorate General confiscated some 1.4 tons of marijuana and arrested five suspects allegedly linked to a drug ring in Aceh Province.

Speaking to journalists in Jakarta on Friday, BNN Head Commissioner General Heru Winarko said the drug smuggling activity was directed by an inmate inside the Kebon Waru Penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, who is only identified by his initials, SP.

Apart from SP, four other suspects, only identified by their initials as BS, IM, AS, and AP, were also apprehended. The marijuana was transported in a truck and by air, he remarked, adding that the seizure was then conducted at three different places.

The BNN officers confiscated the evidence at the Soekarno Hatta International Airports cargo terminal and in the West Java cities of Bogor and Depok.

The success in thwarting the Aceh drug rings attempt to smuggle the marijuana was achieved after the BNN officers were tipped off about a truck loaded with packs of marijuana headed to Bogor City.

The law enforcers followed the truck, and shortly after arriving in the Baranangsiang area of Bogor City, they arrested the truck driver, BS. They found packs of marijuana, which were concealed in a special compartment inside the vehicle, he stated.

On the same day, the law enforcers also seized marijuana transported though the airports cargo terminal.

The suspects are charged with Law No. 35 of 2009 on Narcotics in which they can be sentenced to 20 years in prison or life imprisonment, Heru Winarko revealed.

In Indonesias war on drug trafficking activities, Aceh has not just become a source of marijuana.

Instead, the province is also targeted by drug rings to be a transit point before transporting the addictive drugs to other provinces, including North Sumatra.

On January 9, 2019, the Aceh National Narcotics Agency (BNN), for instance, destroyed four kilograms of crystal methamphetamine that the agencys officers seized as evidence of drug crimes in North Aceh District several months ago.

The confiscated crystal meth was destroyed using an incinerator owned by the agency in the presence of representatives of local police, the office of public prosecutors, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), and health office.

The BNN officers also nabbed KH and FH, two suspects of the drug case only identified by their initials. Both of them are residents of North Sumatra Province.

According to Amanto, the Aceh National Narcotics Agency officer, the two suspects might belong to the Aceh-North Sumatra drug ring.

The BNN and police have continued attempting to crush the drug trafficking networks amid the fact that there was an increasing trend in the number of drug cases the police could uncover, as revealed in the fourth week of December 2018 and in early January 2019.

Director of the Narcotics Division at the National Police Crime Investigation Department Brig. Gen. Eko Daniyanto noted that the number of drug cases that the police had successfully uncovered in early January increased around 22 percent compared to the fourth week of December 2018, when the figure was recorded at 384.

The number of suspects that the police nabbed during various raids also increased from 481 in the fourth week of December 2018 to 622 in early January.

However, the drugs, such as marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, and ecstasy, which the police seized in early January, decreased in quantity. Instead, drugs such as Gorilla tobacco and Ketamine pills increased in quantity, Daniyanto noted.

Indonesia is indeed perceived by both local and trans-national drug dealers as their potential market because of its huge population and millions of drug users.

The BNN noted that some 50 Indonesians die of illicit drugs every day, while the total number of drug users in the country has reached seven million and the value of the drug trade in the country is estimated to have reached at least Rp66 trillion.

Considering the above reality, drug trafficking activities have appeared to be an ongoing threat to Indonesias security and human resources.

In winning the war against drug dealers, harsh punishments, including the imposition of death penalties to drug dealers, are needed.

However, the law enforcement approach also needs to be combined with preventive measures, such as regular blood and urine drug tests for students, employees, and other segments of society, as well as public awareness campaigns on the danger of addictive drugs.

Source: Antara News

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