Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - A 43-year-old man was caught trying to smuggle 52 packs of methamphetamine weighing around 5.3 kilograms concealed inside a plastic bag of baby diapers into South Kalimantan.

South Kalimantan police officers apprehended the suspect, identified as NI, early on the morning of January 25, 2024, while he was trying to take the drug package to Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, on a motorcycle.

"NI was arrested when his motorcycle was passing by Ahmad Yani Road KM 12,700 of Gambut sub-district, Banjar district," the South Kalimantan Police's narcotics crime investigation director, Sen.Coms Kelana Jaya, informed.

Speaking to journalists here on Monday, Jaya said that NI, a resident of Banjarmasin, is believed to belong to West Kalimantan's Pontianak drug ring.

Prior to NI's arrest, the South Kalimantan police had received a tip about the Pontianak drug syndicate planning a drug delivery and conducted a surveillance operation for several days, he added.

Police investigators will dig deeper into NI's case to uncover his networks, he informed.

ANTARA reported earlier that South Kalimantan remains vulnerable to drug trafficking operations.

On January 14, 2023, for instance, the South Kalimantan police confiscated about 35kg of crystal methamphetamine from a truck driver, identified by the initials RS, 42.

According to the police, the drugs were packed into 35 Chinese tea bags mixed with food products.

RS was arrested from a hotel after arriving at Banjarmasin city's Trisakti Port from Surabaya, East Java, with his truck, which was loaded with the crystal meth.

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, as the number of drug trafficking cases has continued 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.

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Translator: Firman, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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