Drug offenses are not carried out individually but as a syndication
Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Indonesian police in Riau Islands Province recently thwarted a drug trafficking operation in the Putri Island waters near Batam City and seized 107.258 kg of crystal methamphetamine from five arrested suspects.

The suspects attempted to smuggle the crystal meth package by using a high-speed vessel, SB Edward Black Beard GT 18 No.2255 LLA, Riau Islands Deputy Police Chief Brig. Gen. Darmawan noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted here on Tuesday.

The drug was packaged in 104 Chinese tea bags that the suspects concealed in six backpacks, he noted, adding that the drug trafficking operation could likely involve an international drug syndicate, but the police investigators still needed more time to uncover those in their networks.

"Drug offenses are not carried out individually but as a syndication," he pointed out.

The suspected drug traffickers, only identified by their initials as RA (26), AJA (23), EAH (25), ROS (26), and H (33), were apprehended on September 5, 2021.

RA is a Jakarta resident, while AJA, EAH, ROS, and H are registered as the residents of Jombang, East Java; Bitung, North Sulawesi; Batam, Riau Islands; and West Java respectively, Darmawan noted.

The police are hunting down another suspect, identified as JB, he noted, adding that the confiscated crystal meth package could be sold at Rp128 billion based on the current price market.

The police's success in foiling this drug trafficking operation has saved between 321,774 and 429,000 Indonesians from getting siphoned into drug addiction.

The police charged the suspects with violation of Article 141 of Indonesia's 2009 anti-narcotics law, and if found guilty, they could face five to 25 years in prison, death penalty, or life imprisonment.

Indonesia remains under grave threat from drug dealers, with scores 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 pose 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.

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 National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated that there were over 3.4 million drug users in Indonesia.

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

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Translator: Yuniati JN, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2021