National Narcotics Agency requires political support

"A proposal to make the Agency perform better has been submitted and a decision is yet to be taken. We need adequate equipment and budget," Waseso added.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has said it needs political support from the government as well as the parliament if it is to perform its duty in an optimal fashion to eradicate drug abuse.

Commissioner General Budi Waseso, head of the agency, said in a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission III in the Houses building here on Tuesday, that the Agency faces difficult challenges in eradicating drug abuse as it has to deal with a lot of syndicates that draw support from various quarters.

"A proposal to make the Agency perform better has been submitted and a decision is yet to be taken. We need adequate equipment and budget," Waseso added.

For example, he explained, to investigate a drug smuggling case, they need at least 30 working days. Besides, the Agency personnel have to carry out intense surveillance.

All these efforts require various kinds of tools and a lot of support. Also, adequate budget is a must.

The National Narcotics Agency Chief also addressed other issues, including the completion of the Agencys building.

Waseso once again emphasized the fact that handling illegal drug circulation is not an easy task.

Other than dealing with at least 72 syndicates that operate in Indonesia, the Agency also has to contend with the fact that these groups have sophisticated tools and have access to massive funds to carry out their ill-advised acts.

"There are 72 international drug networks, 48 of which take advantage of detainees in 22 detention centers, including Freddy Budiman," he revealed.

According to data released by the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), drug crimes involved 3.6 trillion rupiahs, of which evidence is available for 2.8 trillion rupiahs.

"If a single network can generate, lets say, one trillion rupiah every year, that means 72 trillion rupiahs are generated from illegal drug activities. We can obviously see how big the problem is," he continued.

Budi Waseso argued that in order to effectively carry out drug prevention and eradication measures, the State Police, all government agencies, private sector stakeholders as well as all sections of the public will need to participate and become involved in the effort.

He further explained that every month, the Agency seizes at least 50 kilograms of methamphetamine, valued at one billion rupiah per kilogram.

The numbers indicate the extent of the drugs circulating in the community, threatening peoples safety.

At the conclusion of the hearing session, the House of Representatives Commission III agreed to support the proposal to upgrade the Agencys performance, including the position of the chief who is now a cabinet-level functionary.

As for Freddy Budimans testimony, the Commission agreed that the Agency should evaluate its own institution and to study the information further.

The House of Representatives also urged the Agency, along with other law enforcement authorities, to integrate their work in eradicating and preventing the spread of illegal narcotics.(*)

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