Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - Continuing their operations against drug trafficking, the South Sumatra police have arrested 42 suspects and seized at least 10.298 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 55 ecstasy pills from them this month.

The illicit drugs were confiscated from 31 drug dealers and 11 drug users, who were arrested during police raids in cities and towns across South Sumatra, in July this year, an official said.

"Whoever is committing drug crimes will face legal sanctions," South Sumatra Police spokesperson, Senior Commissioner Supriadi, said in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province, on Monday.

Locals must participate in the nation's war on drugs by activating their neighborhood watch and reporting drug offences to police to protect community members from getting dragged into drug addiction and crimes, he added.

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Community members also need to care for their children and family members and keep them from falling prey to drug addiction and crimes, he said.

Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, with many from its working-age population trapped in a vicious circle of drugs.

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

Since his first leadership term, President Joko Widodo has been reminding the nation of the serious impact of drug consumption on Indonesia.

While inaugurating a grand mosque in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on January 20, 2015, he had warned that at least 50 people were dying of drug abuse every day.

The statistic included those who failed to get rehabilitated, he said.

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According to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), the deaths have failed to deter drug users in the country.

The users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other types of addictive drugs come from different communities and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Citing the result of a survey by the BNN and Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Vice President Ma'ruf Amin noted that Indonesia has over 3.4 million drug users.

The survey has shown that about 180 out of every 10 thousand Indonesians, aged between 15 and 64, have been pushed into drug addiction, he noted.

Therefore, at the commemoration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking this year, he drew the collective attention of Indonesians to the grave threat of drug crimes.

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Translator: Yudi A, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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