Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - Police officers in South Sumatra on Friday destroyed 108.9 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 134,423 ecstasy pills that were seized by local cops from 22 drug traffickers arrested between January and February this year.

The confiscated drug packages were destroyed by blending them in water before dumping them in an event attended by South Sumatra Police Chief Inspector General Rachmat A. Wibowo.

According to Wibowo, the misuse of illicit drugs in South Sumatra Province should be handled like the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) where the people at large and authorities work closely to cope with it.

To this end, active participation by all elements of society in the fight against drugs is important, he emphasized.

By destroying the confiscated drugs, the South Sumatra police had saved some 1.3 million residents from getting dragged into drug offenses and misuses, he highlighted.

The 22 suspects have been charged for violation of Articles 114 (2) and 112 (2) of Indonesia's Drug Law Number 35 of 2009 that may lead to being imposed punishments ranging between life imprisonment and death penalty, he explained.

ANTARA reported earlier that drug trafficking still poses threats to South Sumatra and several other provinces in Sumatra Island as domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia to be 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 surge.

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: M.Imam P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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