Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - The North Sumatra police stated on Wednesday that they had destroyed 57.77 kilograms (kg) of methamphetamine, 10 kg of dried marijuana, and 20,600 ecstasy pills that the local officers seized from 32 arrested drug traffickers.

"The cops confiscated the drugs from the suspects apprehended during various raids, conducted from November 24, 2023, to January 15, 2024," said Sen. Coms. Yemi Mandagi, North Sumatra Police Narcotics Director, in Medan, the province's capital.

The 32 suspects are involved in 19 drug cases. Some were identified as members of the Malaysia-Indonesia drug ring, as they were arrested while collecting their drug packages near the two countries' sea border, he remarked.

Destroying the seized drug packages is part of the North Sumatra police's ongoing war on drugs, Mandagi noted, adding that the arrested drug traffickers also attempted to transport the packages by land and air.

He added that some suspects were arrested when they boarded passenger buses connecting Aceh and North Sumatra, attempting to deliver the drug packages to Jakarta and Bandung through the Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatra.

ANTARA earlier reported that domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia to be a potential market due to its vast population and widespread drug use.

The value of the drug trade in the country is estimated to have reached nearly Rp66 trillion (around US$4.23 million), with the number of drug trafficking cases continuing to surge.

According to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), North Sumatra is the third most vulnerable province in Indonesia when it comes to drug trafficking and related crimes.

About 80 percent of illicit drugs reaching North Sumatra are smuggled by sea, the agency noted.

Regarding the number of drug users in Indonesia, a joint survey conducted by 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.

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Translator: M.S.Nasution, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Anton Santoso
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