Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua police officers arrested two PNG citizens for allegedly smuggling 51 packages of marijuana from their country into the Indonesian province of Papua in the early morning of Thursday, March 21, 2024.

"They were arrested at around 2:15 a.m. local time in the neighborhood of Hamadi Hanurata, Jaya Selatan Sub-district, Jayapura City," Papua Police's Narcotics Investigation Director Senior Commissioner Alfian stated.

The suspects, identified as Junior Lenga and Rindox, carried 51 packages of marijuana that they concealed in four sacks of rice, he remarked here on Thursday.

The police investigators found that Junior Lenga was in the Jayapura city police's priority watch list, as he had escaped from the Abepura Penitentiary when jailed in connection with a drug smuggling case.

To assist the police's war on drugs, Alfian sought active participation from local residents by providing tip-offs to cops about suspicious acts of drug trafficking in their neighborhood areas.

"Do not fear to give tip-offs to the police," he added.

ANTARA reported earlier that drug smuggling operations involving PNG citizens continue to threaten Papua.

On March 22, 2021, police officers in Papua also arrested a citizen of Papua New Guinea (PNG) on early Monday, March 22, 2021, for being allegedly involved in a cross-border drug trafficking network.

The police personnel confiscated five sacks of marijuana from the detainee, named Gadafi Kuentaw Waropo, 18.

He was apprehended in Many Island of Jayapura Selatan Sub-district, Jayapura City, following the arrest of Beny Toway Waropo, 28.

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, 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: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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