Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN), on Tuesday, destroyed 356.622 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 757.763 kg of marijuana that its officers had seized during drug raids on February 14-25.

The destroyed crystal meth and marijuana were confiscated from 15 arrested suspects believed to belong to both domestic and international drug rings, BNN Deputy for Law Enforcement Brig. Gen. I Wayan Sugiri remarked.

Three of the 15 suspected drug dealers and couriers were apprehended in Langkat District, North Sumatra Province. They belong to a local drug syndicate, he remarked.

The BNN officers arrested them while attempting to trade 758.49 kg of cannabis that they had transported from Aceh Province to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra Province, he noted.

Meanwhile, eight other suspects -- all Iranians -- were arrested after a joint team of BNN, National Police, and Customs and Excise Directorate found 319.53 kg of crystal meth inside a vessel they had boarded, he stated.

The joint team members located a vessel at the edge of Southern Java Sea last February and ordered it to be towed to Indah Kiat Port's pier in Cilegon, Banten Province, on suspicion of its crew smuggling drugs.

Shortly after arriving at the pier, they thoroughly checked the vessel and found 309 bags containing 319.53 kg of crystal meth, Sugiri stated, adding that the Iranians belong to an international drug ring.

Three other suspects, also believed to belong to an international drug syndicate, were arrested while attempting to smuggle 37.42 kg of crystal meth from Malaysia into Indonesia through the Dumai waters in Riau Province.

The other suspect was arrested along with 22 grams of crystal meth that he had obtained from a man, only identified by the initials as MNW, who asked him to transport a drug package from Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan Province to Southeast Maluku District in Maluku Province, he remarked.

"By destroying the seized drugs, more than one million people have been saved from misusing the illicit drugs and getting dragged into drug offences," he stated.

Indonesia is perceived by both domestic and transnational drug dealers as a potential market due to its vast population and millions of drug users.

The value of drug trade in the country is estimated to have reached nearly Rp66 trillion.

In response to the smuggling of illicit drugs by drug kingpins over the past few decades, the Indonesian government has continued to apply harsh punitive action against them.

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Translator: Putu IS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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