Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Empat Lawang police discovered a two-hectare marijuana field in a farmland near Batu Jungul Village, Muara Pinang Sub-district, Empat Lawang District, South Sumatra, a police officer stated on Friday.

The police personnel found two thousand cannabis trees measuring 1.5 to 2.5 meters in height and arrested a man, only identified as ASM, 40, Empat Lawang Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. Dody Surya Putra stated.

ASM was apprehended in a hut, built about one kilometer away from the marijuana field, while the owner, only identified as BUD, escaped the raid that the police had launched on January 30.

"The police are on the hunt for BUD," he remarked, adding that the Empat Lawang police could uncover the case owing to the local residents' tip-off about the marijuana field.

He further spoke of having directly led the police operation during which they had to walk for nine hours to reach the marijuana field.

"We have uprooted all of the marijuana plants and burned 1,970 of them. The remaining 30 plants are seized to be then examined in the police forensic laboratory for evidence of crime," he stated.

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The police also found 100 kg of dried marijuana inside ASM's hut. Some 96 kilograms had been burned while the remaining four kilograms were confiscated as evidence of crime, he revealed.

The police charged ASM under Indonesia's Law No. 35 of 2009 on Narcotics that carries a maximum punishment of death penalty, or life imprisonment, or six to 20 years in prison, and a fine of Rp1 billion, he stated.

ANTARA reported earlier that domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia 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, 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. (INE) Related news: South Kalimantan police arrest drug courier with 5.3kg drugs

Translator: MI Pramana, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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