Drug crimes have even entered a phase of narcoterrorism
Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Indonesian authorities arrested eight people along with tens of kilograms of crystal meth and thousands of ecstasy pills during a drug raid operation on Friday.

The suspects were arrested aboard a vessel in the waters of the east coast of Sumatra Island, BNN Eradication Division Deputy Inspector General Arman Depari remarked.

The smugglers used two vessels to conduct their drug trafficking operation, Depari notified local journalists at the Belawan-based customs and excise pier on Friday.

They then swapped their ship with the one that contained the drug packages while at Malacca Strait and then headed to the east coast of Sumatra's sea.

"Detailed information will later be available," Depari noted, adding that the suspects were flown to Jakarta for further investigation by the National Police investigators.

The seized drug packages were not yet weighted and counted, Depari remarked without elaborating whether a transnational drug syndicate was involved in the crime.

The drug raid, resulting in the arrest of eight suspects, was conducted by a joint team of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), Police, and Customs and Excise.

On March 18, 2021, members of the House of Representatives' Commission III Overseeing Legal Affairs held a hearing session with BNN Head Petruse Golose.

The House members urged the Indonesian government to step up the war against drugs, saying the country is in a state of emergency with regard to rampant drug trafficking.

"Drug crimes have even entered a phase of narcoterrorism," Head of the House of Representatives' Commission III Overseeing Legal Affairs, Herman Hery, stated.

To deal with this "state of emergency," Hery urged BNN Head Petruse Golose to inform President Joko Widodo of the real situation.

"I suggest that the BNN head speak to Mr. President directly," he remarked at the commission's hearing session, with attendees comprising Golose and several BNN officers.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers perceive Indonesia as a potential market on account of its vast population and millions of drug users.

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

Data indicates that people from all societal levels are falling prey to drugs in the country irrespective 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 BNN has pressed for 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 vigil against them.
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Translator: Munawar M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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