We continue to hunt down the 10 remaining escapees
Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Five of the 15 prisoners, incarcerated for drug offenses, who fled police custody in South Sulawesi on March 29, 2020, were successfully arrested, while 10 others were still at large, a local police officer confirmed.

"We continue to hunt down the 10 remaining escapees," Director of the South Sulawesi Police's Narcotics Division Sen. Coms. Hermawan told journalists in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province, on Saturday.

Hermawan said Nandito, Ikhsan, Febrianto, Reski, and Asri were the escapees that were arrested, while the fugitives were identified as Ramli alias Sakka, Wandi, Tommeng, M. Hafis, Faisal, Rizal, Edi Suhendri, M Ilham, Akbar, and Erwin.

Hermawan steered clear from elucidating on the mode adopted by prisoners to escape from police custody. However, without going into further details, he claimed that they had capitalized on the crisis presented by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The fugitives on the run would soon be captured, he emphasized.

The drug offenders were able to successfully escape after the authorities diverted police resources to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in Jakarta.

The West Jakarta Metropolitan Police's anti-drug squad, for instance, thwarted an attempt of six drug dealers to trade crystal methamphetamine by taking advantage of the COVID-19-related situation.

Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, with several individuals from the nation's working-age group entrapped in a vicious cycle of drug abuse.

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) reported that some 50 Indonesians died of drug use daily, though that has failed to deter the consumption of drugs in the country.

The officials pointed out that users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other types of addictive drugs belong to all communities and transcend socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Indonesia is viewed by both domestic and transnational drug dealers as a potential market owing to its huge population and millions of drug users. The value of drug trade in the country is estimated to have reached some Rp66 trillion.
Related news: Jambi BNN arrests four, confiscates 4.9-kg meth, 1,400 ecstasy pills

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Translator: M.Hasanuddin, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020