Serang, Banten (ANTARA) - Banten Police's Narcotics Criminal Investigation Directorate uncovered 108 drug cases from January to October 2020 and apprehended 126 suspects, Banten Police Chief Inspector General Fiandar stated here on Monday.

The Banten police officers confiscated 370,430 pills containing addictive substances from the arrested suspects, he revealed.

Some 120 thousand of the 370,430 pills were seized from 11 suspects during a series of drug raid operations in Tangerang City from September to October, he remarked.

Banten has emerged as one of the Indonesian provinces prone to drug trafficking activities.

On September 24, 2020, during a raid, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN)-Banten Office confiscated a 301-kg marijuana package from a truck. Owing to restrictions on travel amid the current pandemic, drug dealers in Banten and other provinces are resorting to Internet-facilitated trade of illicit drugs. They delivered drug packages through online courier services directly to buyers' houses.

In addition to a change in the method of trading drugs, more drug users are turning to New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) called gorilla tobacco (synthetic marijuana) from crystal methamphetamine, BNN head Heru Winarko stated.

Indonesia remains under serious threat from drug dealers, who view the country as 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.

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Translator: Mulyana, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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