Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - In the first week of September 2020, the South Sumatra police successfully uncovered 31 drug cases and arrested 29 suspected drug dealers, three drug lords, and 10 drug users, its spokesman, Sen. Coms. Supriadi, stated.

Personnel of the police's squad confiscated 550 grams of crystal meth, 0.20 grams of dried marijuana, and 95 ecstasy pills from the suspects, he notified journalists in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province, on Tuesday.

The police's success in uncovering these drug offences prevented several thousand residents of South Sumatra Province from getting siphoned into a vicious circle of drug addiction, he remarked.

Stringent enforcement of the law would be continued against the offenders and participation of local community members in this war on drugs is deemed indispensable, Supriadi affirmed.

At least, the people care for their kin members to safeguard them from the traps of drug addiction. They are also urged to remain vigilant and to notify the local police of any dubious drug trafficking activities around their neighborhoods, he stated.

Several drug couriers and traffickers exploit South Sumatra's strategic location to further their drug operations through the province's administrative areas.

On Feb 8, 2020, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) officers had arrested five drug couriers during a drug raid operation on the Palembang-Betung road section KM 17 of the Sukajadi Talang Kelapa neighborhood in Banyuasin District, South Sumatra Province.

The five arrested are identified as Masri, Sobirin, and Apriyadi -- all residents of South Sumatra -- as well as Munandar and Asmadi, who hail from Aceh Province.

The five were arrested in possession of seven bags of crystal meth, weighing five kg in total, which they had concealed in a van.

Public prosecutors have demanded a 20-year prison term for transporting the five-kg crystal methamphetamine package.

Lead prosecutor Sigit Subiantoro conveyed the jail demand during a court proceeding at the Palembang District Court held virtually on September 2, 2020. Moreover, the public prosecutors demanded that the defendants be imposed a fine of Rp1 billion.

On Aug 25, the Palembang District Court had also sentenced drug courier Muchtar Daud to 16 years’ imprisonment for transporting one kilogram of crystal meth in April this year.

In the verdict, the court's judiciary panel, headed by Erma Suharti, also fined Daud Rp1 billion that was lighter than the 17-year imprisonment demanded by the prosecutors.

Daud was arrested by the South Sumatra police officers in Sungai Lilin Sub-district, Musi Banyuasin District, in last April.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers perceive Indonesia as a potential market owing to its vast population and millions of drug users. Drug trade in the nation is valued at nearly Rp66 trillion.
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Translator: Yudi A, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020