"The arrest of MRA for his alleged involvement in a drug case has been confirmed," Head of the Riau Islands Provincial Government's Inspectorate Mirza told journalists here on Tuesday.
Mirza said MRA's status as a civil servant would be suspended while waiting for the district court's verdict.
Considering that the total weight of the crystal meth, and the large number of ecstasy pills, MRA could likely receive a severe punishment. "This is really a big case," he said.
Indonesia faced serious threats from drug smugglers and dealers for decades, because they perceive the country as one of their potential markets in Southeast Asia due to its large population and there being several million drug users.
The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) stated that the consumption of illicit drugs claims the lives of some 50 Indonesians daily, while total drug users in the country had reached seven million.
The drug trade in Indonesia is estimated to have reached at least Rp66 trillion. Taking into account this grim reality, drug trafficking activities have turned out to be a constant threat to Indonesia's security and human resources.
To win the war against drug dealers, stringent punishments, including imposing death penalties, are the pressing need of the hour. However, the death penalty has yet to deter drug traffickers.
The BNN and police have continued attempting to crush drug trafficking networks, amid the increasing trend in the number of drug cases the police have uncovered, 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 uncovered in early January 2019 increased some 22 percent, compared to the fourth week of December 2018, when the figure was recorded at 384.
Also, the number of suspects that police arrested during various raids increased from 481 in the fourth week of December 2018 to 622 in early January, he noted.