Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Law and Human Rights Ministry has transferred 643 convicted drug dealers from 12 provinces to Indonesia's maximum security prison on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java as part of efforts to stamp out prison drug rings.
"The transfer has been conducted as part of our efforts to stop drug rings controlled behind bars by imprisoned drug dealers," Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly told legislators during a plenary session here on Wednesday.
The massive transfer of convicted drug dealers to the Nusakambangan penitentiary is the first of its kind, but the ministry would do it again in the future, he told members of the House of Representatives' Commission III Overseeing Legal Affairs.
Ninety-nine of the 643 prisoners were transferred from Jakarta; 76 from Lampung; 50 from Aceh; 48 from Yogyakarta; 91 from West Java; 54 from North Sumatra; 50 from South Sumatra; 47 from Riau; 46 from Banten, 43 from West Kalimantan; 21 from East Java; and, 18 from Bali.
Laoly admitted that the massive transfer has increased the number of prisoners in the Nusakambangan penitentiary where each prison cell accommodates just one inmate.
To address overcrowding, the ministry will build a special penitentiary for high-level drug dealers, he said.
He also informed that his ministry will continue to crack down on prison wardens and officers found indulging in misuse of drugs in prison.
"We have dismissed many employees who have been found guilty. Several others have been downgraded or sent to court," he added.
Domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia a potential market owing to its huge population and millions of drug users.
Drug trade in the nation is valued at nearly Rp66 trillion.
Data has shown that people from all strata of society are falling prey to drugs in the country regardless of their socio-economic and professional backgrounds.
Over the past few decades, the Indonesian government has taken harsh punitive action against drug barons found smuggling and trading drugs in the country.
The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has sought capital punishment for those involved in drug trade in the country.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also issued shoot-at-sight orders against drug kingpins.
However, this has failed to deter drug traffickers, who continue to treat Indonesia as a main market, prompting Indonesian law enforcers to step up vigil against them. (INE)
Source: Antara News