Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - The Indonesian immigration authority in Bali Province had deported MUS, a 35-year-old Thai citizen who had finished serving 11 years in prison for drug smuggling case, on Saturday, a government official said.

Her deportation took place after she was released from the Kerobokan Penitentiary as confirmed by a letter dated on January 4, 2022, Head of the Law and Human Rights Ministry-Bali Office Jamaruli Manihuruk said.

However, due to the unavailability of a flight to her country of origin, her deportation was delayed, he said in a statement that ANTARA quoted here Sunday.

While waiting for her departure, MUS stayed at the immigration detention center for 37 days, Manihuruk said.

Thanks to the Thai Embassy's issuance of emergency travel document as well as availability of flight and travel pass for verifying her COVID-19 document, she could have finally been deported, he said.

MUS left Indonesia by joining Thai Airways' Flight TG 434 which took off to Bangkok from Soekarno Hatta International Airport at 01:36 p.m. local time, he said.

During her flight from Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport to Soekarno Hatta International Airport, she was guarded by three immigration officers, Manihuruk said.

MUS was apprehended at Ngurah Rai International Airport on December 16, 2010 for having smuggled 1,280 pills of illicit drugs and 2.68 grams of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia from Thailand.

In her drug smuggling operation, she swallowed the pills but the Indonesian customs and excise officers could foil her attempt, he added.

Related news: Thai woman gets 10 years for drug smuggling
Indonesia remains under serious threat from domestic and transnational drug dealers, who consider it a potential market due to its huge population and millions of drug users.

Despite the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus disease, which has prompted mobility restrictions and border closures by countries for curbing transmission, the trafficking of drugs has continued unabated.

On January 29, 2022, for instance, police officers in Mesuji district, Lampung province, arrested three suspected drug couriers with 15 kg of crystal meth on the Trans Sumatra toll road.

According to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), at least 50 Indonesians die of drug use every day. However, the statistic has failed to deter drug users in the country.

Users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other types of addictive drugs come from any community and distinct socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. The drug trade in the country is estimated to have reached nearly Rp66 trillion.

The Indonesian government has continued to apply harsh punitive action against kingpins found smuggling and trading drugs over the past few decades.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also issued shoot-at-sight orders against drug kingpins.

However, this has failed to discourage drug traffickers, and they have continued to treat Indonesia as one of their main markets even as Indonesian law enforcers have kept the fight going against them.
Related news: Over 118 tons of drugs seized in 2021: BNN
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Translator: Ayu KP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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