Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - Chief of the Riau islands Provincial Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNNP), Brig. Gen (Pol) Richard Nainggolan, admitted there were difficulties in cracking down on illicit drug smuggling in the region, with its direct borders with Malaysia.

Most of the illegal drugs smuggled into Riau Islands were from neighboring Malaysia, Nainggolan said here on Tuesday.

"Riau Islands has direct borders with Malaysia. With our sea borders, it would be very easy to smuggle the drugs into our territory," he added.

The agency has worked closely with the Malaysian authority to crack down the smuggling networks.

Malaysia previously rebutted accusations over being a home for methamphetamine producers, saying that the illicit drugs were sourced from other countries.

"It is true that (the drugs) were smuggled from Malaysia, but they were not produced in Malaysia," he noted.

The agency, he continued, did not have the authority to investigate drug cases in other countries.

According to Nainggolan, the illicit drug trade in Riau Islands mostly occurs in public places, and at night clubs.

"But we do not have the authority to shut down the night clubs," he said.

In 2019, the Riau Island BNNP handled 80 drug cases and seized 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and 50 thousand ecstasy pills as evidence, as compared to 49 drug cases in 2018, with 50 kg of methamphetamine, 40 thousand ecstasy pills and 212.94 grams of marijuana as evidence.
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Translator: Ogen, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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