Samarinda, E Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The East Kalimantan police have arrested two Indonesians and one Malaysian national for trying to trade drugs in Indonesia and seized 31.8 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from them, a senior police official said.

The suspects, identified by their initials as Y (40), S (41), and P (53), belong to an Indonesia-Malaysia syndicate, the chief of East Kalimantan Police, Inspector General Nanang Avianto, informed.

Speaking to local journalists here on Monday (April 1, 2024), Avianto said that Y and S are Indonesians, while P is a Malaysian citizen. They were apprehended from different places on March 10 and March 23, he added.

The drug trafficking case was uncovered following the arrest of Y in the Sidodamai neighborhood of Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan province, on March 10, he said.

The local cops who nabbed Y seized at least 900 grams of crystal meth from him, Avianto informed, adding that Y obtained the drug package from another person, A, in Sarawak, Malaysia, through S in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

After arresting Y, police officers continued their probe in Pontianak city, which ended with the arrest of S and the confiscation of 6 kg of crystal meth that he had concealed in a bag.

The suspect told the cops that he was storing another drug package at a hotel in Pontianak. The cops went to the hotel and found P with 25 kg of meth, he added.

"P said he was requested (to traffick the crystal meth package) by A (in Sarawak)," Avianto said.

In addition to the drug package, police also confiscated 3 thousand Malaysian ringgit, or about Rp10 million, from the suspects, he said.

The three suspects have been charged with violating Articles 114 (2) and 112 (2) of Indonesia's Drug Law Number 35 of 2009, and face punishments ranging from life imprisonment to 20 years in prison, he informed.

ANTARA has reported earlier that drug trafficking still poses a threat to many provinces in Indonesia since domestic and transnational drug dealers consider the country 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: Januar, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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