The illicit drugs are being delivered through online courier services directly to buyers' houses
Serang, Banten (ANTARA) - The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) revealed on Wednesday that drug dealers in Indonesia are resorting to Internet-facilitated trade of illicit drugs owing to restrictions on travel amid the current pandemic.

“The illicit drugs are being delivered through online courier services directly to buyers' houses,” BNN head Heru Winarko told journalists after witnessing the destruction of 301 kg of seized marijuana at the BNN-Banten office in Serang on Wednesday.

Drug dealers may be considering Internet-based transactions and delivery of packages to buyers through online courier services as more secure and practical, he explained.

In addition to the shift in the method of trading drugs, more drug users are turning to New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) called gorilla tobacco (synthetic marijuana) from crystal methamphetamine, Winarko revealed.

"In the past, many drug users consumed crystal meth, but it is not easily obtained now. Therefore, they have shifted to gorilla tobacco," he said, adding that Indonesia has some 3.4 million drug users.

In the ongoing battle against drug crimes, the BNN is working with the police to conduct surveillance operations at seaports and on cargo service providers as drug syndicates are frequently using them for drug trafficking, he added.

The 301-kg marijuana package that the BNN-Banten office destroyed on Wednesday was confiscated from a truck during a raid by the agency on September 24, 2020.

Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, who consider the country a potential market. The value of drug trade in Indonesia is estimated to have reached at least Rp66 trillion.

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

With drug kingpins smuggling and trading drugs in the country over the past few decades, the Indonesian government has continued to apply harsh punitive action against them.

National Police Chief, General Idham Azis, recently pointed out that district courts in different parts of Indonesia awarded capital punishment to at least 100 drug offenders in the first half of 2020.

"May they soon be executed by firing squads to deter others," he stressed while witnessing the National Police special task force destroy 1.2 tons of crystal meth, 35 thousand ecstasy pills, and 410 kg of marijuana in Jakarta on July 2, 2020.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had also issued shoot-at-sight orders against drug kingpins.

However, this has failed to deter drug traffickers, who continue to treat Indonesia as one of their main markets, even as Indonesian law enforcers continue their fight against them. (INE)

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Translator: Mulyana, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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