Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Palembang District Court on Thursday awarded the death penalty to two drug couriers and sentenced one more person to life imprisonment for trafficking drugs.

During a virtual trial, Uzama alias Saka (46), Andi Eka Putra (35), Yuswandi (40) were pronounced guilty of trafficking 23 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 1,940 ecstasy pills in the city. While Uzama and Andi Eka Putra were sentenced to death, Yuswandi received a life sentence.

The guilty verdict was read out by a panel of judges headed by chief judge Erma Suharti.

The punishment awarded by the panel of judges was tougher than that sought by public prosecutor Devianti Itera, who had demanded life imprisonment for Uzama and Andi Eka Putra and 20 years’ imprisonment for Yuswandi.

Uzama is a resident of Tembilahan Ilir, Riau Province, while Andi Eka Putra hails from Inderalaya Utara neighborhood of Ogan Ilir District, South Sumatra Province, and Yuswandi is from Lam Ara Village, Aceh Besar District, Aceh Province.

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Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, with several members of its working-age population trapped in a vicious cycle of drug abuse.

According to a report from the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), around 50 drug use-related deaths occur everyday in Indonesia. However, the deaths have failed to deter other drug users in the country.

Users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other addictive drugs transcend communities and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Indonesia is perceived by both domestic and transnational drug dealers as a potential market due to its huge population and millions of drug users. The drug trade in the country is estimated at nearly Rp66 trillion.

In face of the grave threat posed by drug lords, on December 5, 2019, BNN Chief Commissioner General Heru Winarko had held discussions with Security Minister Mahfud MD on matters pertaining to Indonesia's war on drugs, including the need to execute death row convicts.

"Capital punishment is part of the laws that should be imposed," Winarko had said following his meeting with the coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs. (INE)

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Translator: Aziz M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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