Sabtu, 25 Mei 2013

INDONESIA RAISES ALARM OVER INCREASING NUMBER OF DRUG USERS by Fardah

   Jakarta, May 25, 2013 (Antara) - 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 recently.

        A survey conducted by BNN has shown that the number of drug addicts significantly rose from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.2  million in 2011. It is predicted that the number of drug users will increase to 4.58 million in 2013, and in 2015, the number of drug addicts is
estimated to surge to 5.1-5.6 million people, or 2.8 percent of the country's total population.
         According to the results of a national survey conducted by BNN and the University of Indonesia (UI) in 2011, of the 3.8-4.7 million drug users, about one-third used performance-boost drug Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS), 1.2 million used Crystalline
Metamphetamine (popularly known as Shabu) and 950,000 others used ecstasy.
         "ATS consumption is decreasing in Java, Bali and Papua but is increasing in Kalimantan and Sumatra especially among workers, students and commercial sex workers. In 2007 we had confiscated 3,504 grams of ATS drugs. The figure significantly increased to 1,000,092 grams in 2011," Iskandar added.
         The police general emphasized the need of the government and people to take a comprehensive measures to eradicate the circulation of drugs in the country.
        "We are now in a state of emergency in terms of drug circulation. Firmer and more comprehensive regulations are expected to be able to tackle this problem," he said.
         BNN's Legal Director Tyaswening attributed the increase to lack of serious attempt in battling drug trafficking  and drug smuggling into the country.
         The agency, therefore, took the initiative to promote campaigns against narcotics by intensifying socialization of anti narcotics law including in South Sulawesi, he said. 
     "BNN  also has conducted socialization of the regulations  in  Jakarta, Lombok  and Manado. The plan is to carry out socialization all over Indonesia in an attempt to prevent drug abuse  and eradicate drug trafficking in line with the program to make Indonesia free of narcotics in 2015," he said.
          Meanwhile, Jakarta's local legislator and artist Wanda Hamidah said the number of drug users in this country currently reached 5.2 million people, including   300,000 users in Jakarta.
        She said many drug users are actually victims, and not criminals. She urged the government to provide free rehabilitation services for drug addicts.
         "The rehabilitation centers must provide free services, it's part of the government's services," she said. 
    The Indonesian Government in 2009 passed legislation (Law 35/2009) which, among other dictates, classifies drug users as patients and not criminals.
         BNN Chief Anang Iskandar said on May 17, 2013, that Indonesia needed to have around 1,000 rehabilitation centers to accommodate about four million drug users.
         "Now, there are 90 rehabilitation centers, we want to increase the number to 1,000. It will be useful to accommodate four million drug users who have not been rehabilitated," he said here on Friday after signing a memorandum of understanding between BNN and 13 community-based addiction rehabilitation institutions.
          He said of the four million drug addicts, only about 18,000 people were rehabilitated every year.
          "The government is only able to rehabilitate 2,000 drug users, but the community manage to rehabilitate 16,000 users annually. Therefore, we encourage a synergy between BNN and the community in carrying out rehabilitation efforts," he said.
          BNN has allocated budget to help the 13 community-based addiction rehabilitation institutions, which have programs of One Stop Centre (OSC), Community-based Unit (CBU) and Outreach Centre (ORC).
         The addiction rehabilitation institutions which signed the MOU are Bani Syifa and Al Islami Islamic boarding schools, Harapan Kasih Foundation,  Kharisma, Kasih Indonesia Foundation, Suci Hati NGO,  Wado Community-based Unit, Master Community-based Unit, Rumah
Kasih and Pemulihan Serambi Salomo, Lingkaran Harapan Banua, Bunga Bakung Foundation, Metanoia Papua community-based unit, and Nahdlatul Ulama advantage institution.  
    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) program coordinator Tun Nay Soe recently warned Indonesia of a possible increase in the use of ATS drugs in the country.
         "The large licit requirements of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for industrial purpose in Indonesia heighten the risk that these substances may be wrongfully used for production of ATS," he said.
         The estimated market value of ATS in Indonesia is also promising. With the average market street price of around Rp1.3 million (YS$145) per gram, the Crystalline Methamphetamine trade in Indonesia generated an estimated Rp16 trillion (US$1.8 billion)
in revenues in 2011.
         He made it clear that more drug traffickers are interested in producing ATS since it can be manufactured everywhere (in small apartment or housing complex) and they only need to mix it with chemicals.
         In early May 2013, Jakarta Metropolitan police raided a house in Villa Melati Mas in Serpong, Tangerang, Banten, being used as an illegal laboratory for producing narcotic drug crystal methamphetamine.
         The house in Blok G1 Number 16 has been used as a laboratory to produce crystal methamphetamine or shabu, the command's spokesman, Senior Commissioner Rikwanto, said in Jakarta on May 2, 2013.
         He said the police have arrested PG (42) an Indonesian national believed to be the owner of the house   and confiscated some equipment and chemical substances used to make the drug.
         Previously in April 2013, Sumatran police nabbed three people charged with being in possession of 20 kilograms of marijuana in the district of Langkat, North Sumatra.
         "The three were found carrying the drug in a raid launched by the Pangkalan Brandan police  on Friday," head of the local police unit Adj. Comr  Zainuddin Lubis said in Pangkalan Brandan, Sumatra.
         Three men, who  claimed they were only farmers from Aceh, were held in police detention in Pangkalan Brandan. 
     Also in April 2013, the Indonesian police shot dead two drug traffickers who were suspected to have link with a Malaysian drug syndicate, in Medan, North Sumatra.
         "The two drug dealers are suspected to have link with a Malaysian syndicate because the drugs were sent from Malaysia. We hope we can arrest the dealers in Malaysia so that the case could be uncovered," Sr Cmr Agus Rianto, the head of Public Relations Division
of the Indonesian National Police, said.
         He said that police confiscated from the suspects two kg of methamphetamine, 10,000 ecstasy pills and a sharp weapon. Agus said that the arrest was made as a follow-up to the arrest of three suspects in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, on April 18, 2013.
         From the three suspects, the police confiscated seven kg of methamphetamine, 21 ecstasy pills, over 6,700 happy fives, 11 cellular phones and about 3.5 ounces of powder which was suspected be raw material for producing ecstasy pills.
         The illegal goods were suspected to have been smuggled in from Malaysia through Tanjung Balai Port of North Sumatra.
         According to Anang Iskandar, Batam City has so far become the main entryway of narcotic smuggling from abroad to other regions in the country.
         "Most narcotic drugs from Malaysia entered through Batam and from there to Jakarta," he said.
         Indonesia has very strict drug laws and the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is death by firing squad. There are currently 71 prisoners convicted of drug charges on death row in Indonesia and 41 of them are foreigners.
         The latest execution by a firing squad was carried out in Jakarta on March 15, 2013, on 48-year-old Adami Wilson of Malawi, who was sentenced to death in 2005 for smuggling one kilogram of heroin. ***4***
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(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/A/A. Abdussalam) 25-05-2013 14:41:11

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