Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - The Ambon District Court in Maluku on Wednesday sentenced a man to 14 years' imprisonment for trafficking 305.15 grams of crystal methamphetamine to the province in March 2023.

A panel of judges found the man, identified as Suryanto alias Anto, guilty of trafficking a drug package that he had purchased from a drug ring in Batam city, Riau Islands province, in March.

The sentence was lighter than the 15 years demanded by prosecutors. The panel of judges presided by Haris Tewa also fined him Rp8 billion, with a subsidiary penalty of three months' imprisonment.

Suryanto was apprehended while staying at a hotel near Pattimura International Airport in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, on March 10, 2023.

Police officers who arrested him seized two plastic bags of crystal meth weighing 305.15 grams from him.

Suryanto said that before his arrest, he had also trafficked 20 grams of crystal meth to Tual city, Maluku.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia 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, with the number of drug trafficking cases continuing to increase.

A joint survey conducted by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in 2019 pegged the number of drug users in Indonesia at over 3.4 million.

The survey conducted in 34 provinces indicated that about 180 out of every 10 thousand Indonesians in the age group of 15 to 64 years were addicted to drugs.

The users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other types of addictive drugs can belong to any community and socioeconomic and cultural background.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's war on drugs has continued. The National Police recently announced it has crippled a drug ring run by Fredy Pratama, who reportedly trafficked 10.2 tons of crystal meth and 116,346 ecstasy pills to Indonesia in the period from 2020 to 2023.

Over the past three years, police officials have uncovered 408 cases related to Pratama's network and arrested 884 suspects, director of the National Police's Narcotics Investigation Division, Brig. Gen. Mukti Juharsa, informed.

As a result, the police force has managed to cut Pratama's supplies of crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy pills and dealt a blow to his network of drug couriers and dealers in Indonesia, he said.

Translator: Daniel L, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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