Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has dismissed an elected member of Aceh Tamiang district's legislative body, identified as S, from the party following his arrest in a drug trafficking case.

"Drug trafficking is an extraordinary crime. It is impossible if the suspect is not sacked (from PKS membership)," a senior legislator from PKS, M. Nasir Djamil, told journalists in Jakarta on Tuesday.

With his dismissal, S will be removed from his post as legislator and replaced by another PKS legislative candidate, he informed.

Djamil also apologized to the people of Aceh over the legislator's involvement in the trafficking of 70 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, saying a background check by PKS failed to uncover his role in a cross-border drug ring.

S was arrested by the National Police's Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) on Saturday over his alleged involvement in the smuggling of 70 kg of meth from Malaysia into Aceh.

On Monday, Bareskrim officers took S from Aceh to Jakarta for further investigation.

As reported earlier, Aceh has been in a state of emergency over drug trafficking with transnational and inter-provincial drug rings still active in the province despite the ongoing crackdown against them.

Both police and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) have continued to clamp down on drug kingpins and their drug supply networks in Aceh over the past few years.

Looking at the physical evidence of drug crimes that local police and BNN officers have frequently seized, cannabis and crystal methamphetamine seem to be the most commonly trafficked drugs.

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

The value of drug trade in the country is estimated 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 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 at least 180 out of every 10,000 Indonesians in the age group of 15 to 64 years were using drugs.

The users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other addictive drugs cut across communities and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

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Translator: Melalusa SK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: M Razi Rahman
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