The National Anti-Narcotic Agency (BNN) recently revealed that of some 4.5 million drug addicts in Indonesia, around 75 percent is the younger generation, particularly students.
"Most of drug addicts are students and other members of the younger generation. They constitute 75 percent of the total number of drug addicts, which is 4.5 million people throughout Indonesia," AKBP Maria Sorlury of BNN said recently.
She predicted that the number of drug addicts could increase to five million in 2015. At present, some 50 to 70 drug addicts died daily.
Indonesia needed to have at least 1,000 rehabilitation centers to accommodate more than four million drug users. Currently the country has around 90 drug addict rehabilitation centers that could accommodate just 18,000 people in total.
She hoped every province at least has one rehabilitation center soon. "Therefore many drug addicts are roaming around out there, and their number could increase," she said.
Chief of Staff of the Army General Gatot Nurmantyo has said drug abuse in Indonesia is related to a proxy war strategy, which aims to inflict harm on the younger generation. "The strategy is to destroy the Indonesian younger generation, so that the nation would be deprived of a high-quality generation in the future," the general recently stated in Ambon, Maluku, while addressing the students of Pattimura University, on Oct 11, 2014.
Drug trafficking is rampant in this country as it has spread even to remote and border areas, he pointed out.
In November 2013, the police discovered illicit Red Ice drug factories in Sunter and Tamansari, Jakarta. During the raids, the police arrested 16 suspects, including three Malaysians and one Chinese.
With a huge population and a high prevalence rate, Indonesia is a lucrative and profitable market for drug traffickers who are mostly members of international syndicates.
"In the late 20th Century, Indonesia was a transit country, but now, it has transformed into an illicit drug market," Nurmantyo stated.
Based on the data furnished by the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN), in 2005, illicit drug users constituted some 1.5 percent of the country's population. This number increased to 2.6 percent in 2013 and is estimated to further surge to 2.8 percent or more than 5.1 million in 2015.
"The mortality rate due to illicit drug use is some 15 thousand people annually," he claimed.
This fact is a matter of grave concern as it has the potential to destroy the younger generation in the long term because it has massively spread among the youth from young executives to students, according to the general.
"Through an international conspiracy, Indonesia's younger generation could be destroyed by using no weapons. The authorities are still facing difficulties in trying to prevent and fight against drug problems," he added.
Chief of the National Police Chief General Sutarman recently claimed that his institution, particularly the Polices Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), has saved some 7.150 million potential victims following the polices success in seizing 71.5 kilograms of meth.
The Bareskrim confiscated 71.5 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp143 billion from an Indonesian, two Chinese, and a Hong Kong citizen recently.
"The polices Bareskrim team managed to arrest the members of an illicit international drug syndicate and seized huge evidence of 71.5 kilograms of meth," the police chief remarked in a press conference on Oct. 10.
The Bareskrim team had investigated the case for four months, he explained. The meth was sent from China and Hong Kong to Indonesia via ships. The meth was concealed along with candied orange sweets.
"The meth was put in boxes containing candied orange sweets. So, the smell of orange would mask the smell of meth," he pointed out.
On September 23, 2014, the Indonesian police arrested AGN, an Indonesian national, in Grand Asia Hotel, North Jakarta, and seized 4.5 kilograms of meth allegedly received from LTY, a Chinese citizen.
On September 24, the police found LTY in possession of 25 kilograms of meth when he was arrested in Hariston Hotel, North Jakarta.
Based on LTYs information, the police detained CFC, a Chinese national, in Green Bay Pluit Apartment on the same day and seized 34 kilograms of meth.
CFC was believed to have received the meth consignment from China and Hong Kong, before it was distributed in Indonesia.
On September 27, FKH, a Hong Kong citizen and another member of the syndicate, smuggled meth placed inside 21 boxes of candied orange sweets using an expedited delivery service to Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia.
On September 29, FKH flew to Indonesia and was arrested in Tangerang while opening the package containing eight kilograms of meth.
The four suspects will be charged for violating illicit drug laws and could face death penalty.
Indonesian drug laws prescribe the death penalty for narcotics trafficking and up 20 years in prison for marijuana offenses. Simple possession of Group 1 drugs results in prison terms of four to twelve years.
Indonesia is considered a big market for illicit drug trafficking and no longer merely a transit country as the number of drug users has increased quite significantly.
"In 2010, the economic loss due to drug abuse was recorded at around Rp41 trillion constituting private and social costs. The drug abuse condition in Indonesia is currently alarming," Chairman of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) Commissioner General Anang Iskandar said in Jakarta last year.
A similar concern was expressed by Gen. Sutarman at the press conference, because Indonesia has both become consumer as well as producer of illicit drugs.
The police recently discovered illicit drug factories in Batam, Riau Island Province, and in Tangerang, Banten Province.
Drug traffickers have targeted Indonesia because of its big population, which is around 250 million. "Where demand is high, there is always a supply," he added. He called on the Indonesians, particularly the younger
generation, to stay away from illicit drugs.
Earlier, the police general challenged all national colleges or universities to invent a device that could detect the use of
illegal drugs or narcotics.
"If there is a university that can invent technology for detecting drugs, I will buy it and use it (from the central) in all
the police sector stations in Indonesia," Sutarman said in September 2014.
Police currently needed narcotics detectors that were simple to use but effective in detecting a drug user, Sutarman said. "The National Police needs such detection device, please invent it," he said.
The technology will be effective for law enforcement personnel while fighting drug abuse in the society, he said. ***1***