Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - A joint team of personnel from the North Sumatra police and Kualanamu International Airport's security unit arrested seven drug traffickers on Tuesday (Jan 23) and seized some 7.2 kg of methamphetamine from them.

The suspects were apprehended during two raids at the Kualanamu International Airport in Deli Serdang District, according to North Sumatra police spokesperson, Sen. Coms. Hadi Wahyudi.

The first raid led to the arrests of three airline passengers who were residents of Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. They were identified as II, MJ, and AS, he revealed here, Wednesday (Jan 24).

The suspects and their belongings were thoroughly checked, and the police officers found 30 plastic bags containing some 3.1 kg of crystal meth that would be transported to Kendari City, Wahyudi said.

They told police investigators that they were asked to deliver the drug package to the capital of Southeast Sulawesi Province by A, who is being chased by the police, he noted.

The second raid that the local cops conducted by working with their colleagues from the Kualanamu International Airport's security unit resulted in the arrests of MI, RS, IZ, and AZ.

The suspects are residents of North Sumatra and West Java, he remarked, adding that the cops confiscated some 4.1 kg of methamphetamine from the suspects who attempted to deliver the package to Cengkareng in Banten Province.

The suspects are currently placed under police custody and await further investigation, Wahyudi remarked.

ANTARA reported earlier 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 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.

Related news: BNN destroys 20.9 kg of seized crystal meth

Related news: Indonesian customs confiscates 5.6 tons of drugs in 2023

Translator: M.Sahbainy N, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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