Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian navy personnel thwarted a drug courier's attempt to smuggle a methamphetamine package from Tawau City, Malaysia, into Sebatik Sub-district, Nunukan District, North Kalimantan, on Friday (May 17), a navy officer stated.

The drug courier, identified as WP, 25, smuggled 142 grams of crystal meth through Sebatik Island's Somel traditional port, Commander of the Main Naval Base (Lantamal) in Nunukan, Lt Col Handoyo, stated here, Friday.

Sebatik Island belongs to Indonesia and Malaysia. The southern part of the island is owned by the Indonesian province of North Kalimantan, while the northern part belongs to Malaysia's State of Sabah.

He said the navy personnel who foiled the smuggling attempt belonged to Lantamal's Second Fleet Quick Response (SFQR), Second Fleet's elite Frogmen Command (Kopaska), and Ambalat XXIX Maritime Security Task Force.

"Our joint team's success in foiling this cross-border drug smuggling operation has proven our seriousness in enforcing law against drug traffickers on the Indonesia-Malaysia border," Handoyo remarked.

WP was arrested shortly after arriving at the Sebatik-based traditional port. The navy officers who checked his backpack found three plastic bags of crystal meth inside, weighing some 142 grams, he revealed.

The suspect, who lives in Tarakan Barat Sub-district, North Kalimantan, told navy officers that AD in Malaysia had asked him to transport the drug package to Nunukan, he remarked.

If he was successful in the drug delivery, AD promised him to pay WB 500 ringgit, or about Rp1.7 million, Handoyo quoted WP as saying in his confession.

Domestic and transnational drug dealers consider Indonesia to be a potential market due to its huge population and extensive drug use.

The value of drug trade in the country is projected to have reached nearly Rp66 trillion (around US$4.2 billion), with the number of drug trafficking cases continuing to surge.

A joint survey conducted by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in 2019 pegged the number of drug users in Indonesia at over 3.4 million.

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Translator: Nadia PR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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