South Sumatra: Former legislator caught ferrying drugs, detained

South Sumatra:  Former legislator caught ferrying drugs, detained

Samsul Bahri (left) and two other suspects were arrested in a drug-trafficking case. (ANTARA/Aziz Munajar/21)

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - Samsul Bahri (39), a former legislator from South Sumatra’s Pidie Jaya district, was nabbed by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) on Monday while trying to transport 5 kg of drugs in his car.

Following his arrest, BNN also apprehended two more suspects in connection with the case.

Providing details about the case on Wednesday, Brig.Gen.M.Arief Ramdhani from BNN’s South Sumatra Office said the agency launched a raid after receiving a tip that 5 kg of crystal methamphetamine was to be brought into South Sumatra from Aceh.

Acting on the information, BNN investigators tailed Bahri’s private car from the Taman Betung inter-section as he headed to Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, on Monday.

They searched the car after Bahri stopped at the Terminal Atas fuel station on the Palembang-Betung road section of the Trans-Sumatra highway in Banyuasin district at mid-day, Ramdhani informed.

BNN investigators found five kg of crystal meth concealed inside the vehicle's dashboard and arrested Bahri, he added.

"Samsul Bahri's apprehension also resulted in the arrests of two other suspects," he said, adding that Bahri was supposed to hand the crystal meth package to a local drug courier named Lekat.

About 30 minutes after Bahri's arrest, BNN officials nabbed Lekat while he was waiting for the drug package at a convenience shop in Simpang Pancur neighborhood of the Palembang-Pancur road section.

Lekat told officials that the drug package was meant to be delivered to a buyer, identified as Suhaimi, in Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir (PALI) district, South Sumatra. Suhaimi was arrested the same day.

Besides drugs, the BNN also confiscated two cars, a motorcycle, and six mobile phones from the three men, Ramdhani said.

BNN investigators have charged the suspects under Articles 114 (2) and 112 (2) of the Narcotics Law. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers view Indonesia as a potential market owing to its huge population and millions of drug users.

Drug trade in the nation is valued at nearly Rp66 trillion.

People from all strata of society are falling prey to drugs in the country regardless of their socio-economic and professional backgrounds.

Over the past few decades, the Indonesian government has taken harsh punitive action against drug barons found smuggling and trading drugs in the country.

The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has sought capital punishment for those involved in drug trade in the country.

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

However, this has failed to deter drug traffickers, who continue to treat Indonesia as a main market, prompting Indonesian law enforcers to step up vigilance against them. (INE)

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