Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN) announced on Thursday that it has uncovered six drug cases involving a Malaysia-Madura drug ring, and arrested 14 suspects.

From the suspects, BNN officers seized 87.4 kg of crystal methamphetamine, 400.18 kg of marijuana, 35,915 ecstasy pills, and several door closer boxes, which were allegedly used to conceal the drugs.

The suspects were picked up from six locations during raids that the agency launched in February and March this year, BNN head Coms.Gen.Petrus Reinhard Golose said.

Five of the 14 suspects were arrested at Soekarno Hatta International Airport's Terminal 3 parking area this week, Golose told journalists at a press briefing in Jakarta.

The suspects, identified by their initials YP, MD, SM, DS, and AN, allegedly tried to smuggle 2.5 kg of crystal meth concealed inside door closer packs.

Nine other suspects were nabbed in Bogor (West Java), Jagakarsa (South Jakarta), Tanjung Pura (Langkat district, North Sumatra), Langsa (Aceh), and Tangerang (Banten), he informed.

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

This has dragged the nation into a state of emergency over narcotics trade and abuse. Drug trade in the country 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.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck the country on March 2, 2020, drug lords have continued to pose a serious threat on account of rampant drug trafficking even amid the health crisis.

Since his first leadership term, President Joko Widodo has constantly reminded the people of the serious repercussions of drug consumption on Indonesia.

While inaugurating a grand mosque in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on January 20, 2015, the head of state had cautioned that at least 50 people were dying of drug use daily. The statistics included those who failed to get rehabilitated.

According to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), Indonesia had more than 3.3 million drug users in 2017.

The drug users belonged to the 10-59 age group, and the percentage of teenagers falling prey to drug addiction stood at 24-28 percent, according to the BNN.

As per information on the agency's official website, Indonesians in the age group of 15-35 years are at the highest risk of drug abuse.

To support their drug-trafficking networks in the country, drug lords are dragging not just people in their 30s into drug rings, but even those in their 20s. (INE)

Related news: BNN advises rehab for families with drug addicts

Related news: Indonesia still a long way from winning war on drugs


Translator: Genta TM, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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