Detained drug traffickers plan to target N Sumatra's Tanjung Balai

Detained drug traffickers plan to target N Sumatra's Tanjung Balai

The Indonesian Navy caught two men while they were trying to smuggle 110.925 kg of drugs from Malaysia by boat and handed them over to the North Sumatra Office of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) early this week . (ANTARA/Munawar)

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - Two men who were caught by the Indonesian Navy while trying to smuggle drugs from Malaysia have confessed they were planning to sell the contraband in North Sumatra’s Tanjung Balai city, a senior Navy official said.

The two suspects have admitted that they were planning to sell 92.512 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 61,378 ecstasy pills, which they tried to smuggle by boat, in Tanjung Balai, the Indonesian Navy's 1st Fleet Command (Koarmada I) Chief, Rear Adm.Abdul Rasyid, informed.

However, their drug smuggling operation was foiled after Navy personnel intercepted the suspects' boat while it was on its way to the Asahan River from the Malaysia-Indonesia sea border on Sunday, he said in a statement that ANTARA received in Medan on Tuesday.

The suspects, identified by their initials as KH (33) and HS (34), had boarded a 5-GT vessel with the contraband.

When Navy personnel checked the vessel, they found six rice sacks containing 110.925 kg of crystal meth and ecstasy pills stashed under its stern, Rasyid said.

The boat, along with its skipper and crew, was then brought to the Indonesian Naval Base I Belawan in North Sumatra, while the seized drug packages were examined at the Medan Customs and Excise Office's laboratory, he added.

The Navy also confiscated the 5-GT vessel, a mobile phone, and a wallet containing Rp342 thousand as evidence of the drug crime, he said.

It handed over the evidence and the suspects to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN)-North Sumatra Office early this week, he added.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers are targeting Indonesia 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 contraband in the country.

While the BNN has sought capital punishment for those involved in drug trade in the country, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued shoot-at-sight orders against drug kingpins.

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

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