Saving Indonesia's entertainers from drug trap

Saving Indonesia's entertainers from drug trap

The Jakarta Police held a press conference on a drug case involving actress Lucinta Luna (13/2/2020). ANTARA/HO Polres Metro Jakbar/am.

Indonesia's world of entertainment remains vulnerable to drugs as is apparent from the arrests of several entertainers over consumption and also trade of illicit drugs.

Over the past three years, at least 12 Indonesian entertainers -- Ammar Zoni, Rio Reifan, Roro Fitria, Fachri Albar, Fariz RM, Jennifer Dunn, Steve Emmanuel, Zul Zivilia, Jefri Nichol, Tri Retno Prayudati alias Nunung Srimulat, Nanie Darham, and Lucinta Luna -- were apprehended by the police and on trial for drug offences.

The more recent case that drew significant attention was of female movie star Nanie Darham being arrested in Jakarta on Feb 2 for allegedly trading cocaine, with police investigators accusing her of obtaining it from a drug lord outside Indonesia by ordering through social media platforms.

"The illicit drug is received from a drug trafficker outside Indonesia by ordering it through social media platforms by using a method of delivery order," Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Sen. Coms. Yusri Yunus stated.

The police investigators continue to probe the case, and they have known the drug lord's identity, he told journalists in Jakarta on Monday.

However, he desisted from elaborating on how the social media platforms and deliver order method were employed by the suspect to obtain the coke.

"We have got the name (of the overseas drug lord), but we cannot yet unveil it. The coke is delivered from abroad," he added.

In connection with this drug case, the Jakarta Metropolitan Police's anti-drug squad personnel did not just apprehend Nanie Darham, an actress popular for her role in a movie titled "The Water Fall of Bride and Groom".

The police also arrested two other suspects, only identified by their initials as JA and WED, who were accused of purchasing the cocaine packages from Nanie Darham. These two men were arrested at the South Jakarta-based Mega Kuningan Apartment's lobby area.

During the raid, the police seized 14.86 grams of cocaine from JA and WED and another 8.12 grams of cocaine and several H5 or "Happy-5" pills from JA's house, he remarked, adding that the police also confiscated an ecstasy pill from Nanie Darham's home.

The police have charged these three suspects over violation of Indonesia's drug law for which they are subject to a 20-year jail term.

Female comedian, Tri Retno Prayudati, commonly known as Nunung Srimulat, and her husband were arrested on July 19, 2019, while actor, Jefri Nichol, was apprehended on July 22, 2019.

The police investigators confiscated 0.36 grams of crystal methamphetamine at Nunung Srimulat's house in the Tebet area of South Jakarta on July 19 and 6.01 grams of marijuana from Nichol's room in the Kemang area of South Jakarta on July 22.

Speaking in connection with this unfortunate reality, veteran actor Butet Kartaredjasa deplored the habit of some artists and actresses, who use illicit drugs.  

"Wishing to become artists, but they suddenly start using drugs. Only the stupid people do so," Butet stated.

Butet opined that the involvement of certain artists in drug-related cases has nothing to do with their work environment but rather likely related to their own personal problems.

"Please do not use the profession of artists as a reason for using addictive drugs. It is not acceptable since being an artist is a noble profession akin to that of journalists," Butet stated, adding that so many artists in Indonesia do not use drugs.

Entertainers sucked into the vicious circle of drugs should be rehabilitated as long as they are solely drug users and not traffickers.

In facilitating their recovery, Head of Jakarta's Drug Rehabilitation Center (BNNP) Wahyu Wulandari has also suggested netizens to refrain from commenting on celebrities embroiled in drug-related cases since stigmatizing them through the use of insensitive language could weigh heavily and negatively on their psychology.

"Judging and stigmatizing them for their drug use may affect their psychology. It is destructive for drug users, who have been rehabilitated and for those, who have not yet been treated at rehab centers," she stated.

Instead of posting discouraging comments and judgments, netizens have been advised to help drug users by extending support through constructive comments and helping people accept ex-drug users in their neighborhoods.

The people's acceptance will help drug users during their recovery process and prevent them from relapsing, she pointed out.

Drug dealers in Indonesia have obviously entrapped those from the world of entertainment to become part of their most potential market, partly due to their financial strength and life style.

The celebrities' involvement in drug offences, however, is indeed a real and serious threat for this nation's war on drug since they are public figures whose popularity has made them influential and have several followers in society.

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