Jakarta, July 14, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian police shot dead a major drug trafficker for resisting arrest during a raid that successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle one ton crystal methamphetamine from China in Serang, Banten, on July 12, 2017.Lin Ming Hui, a Taiwanese citizen killed by the Indonesian police, was believed to have controlled the smuggling of the narcotics.
The police detained two suspects -- Chen Wei Cyuan and Liao Guan You -- while Hsu Yung Li escaped arrest. The four smugglers are Taiwanese.
The operation, conducted jointly by the Jakarta and Depok Police, was successful owing to cooperation between the Indonesian and Taiwanese Police, according to Inspector General M. Iriawan, chief of the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police.
The illicit drug, smuggled into Indonesia aboard a boat, was seized from the Mandalika Anyer Hotel in Serang.
"This was the result of a field investigation in Jakarta. We then traced it, thanks to a tip-off from the Police of Taiwan," he noted.
Chief of the Indonesian Police General Tito Karnavian has lauded the joint team of the Jakarta and Depok Police for successfully foiling the smuggling attempt.
Karnavian has instructed his personnel to continue the fight against illicit drugs even if they have to shoot dead drug traffickers.
"Continue. If the traffickers resist, finish (them)," he noted.
The latest smuggling attempt demonstrates that Indonesia is still viewed as a potential market for drug trafficking, he remarked.
In fact, the death of a drug trafficker in the hands of Indonesian security officers is not the first of its kind this year.
On March 20, 2017, officers of the National Narcotic Agency (BNN) shot dead a drug smuggler identified by his initials as AP in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, which shares borders with Malaysia.
The agency also arrested three suspects for smuggling several kilograms of methamphetamine from Malaysia.
Earlier, on March 1, the BNN had shot dead a drug trafficker known by his initials RIZ in Medan, North Sumatra Province.
The agency also seized 48.16 kilograms of methamphetamine from China and later smuggled from Penang, Malaysia, into Aceh and later Medan.
During the operation, the agency also seized 3,702 ecstasy pills and 454 happy five pills, as well as arrested 33-year-old Mul on the Medan-Binjai Street, North Sumatra.
Indonesia views drug abuse as a real threat to the nation since the country has some 6.4 million drug users in 2016, an increase from 5.9 million in 2015.
Data from Health Research Center of the University of Indonesia revealed that out of the 6.4 million drug users, 22 percent are teenagers, and some 30-40 people die daily due to drug abuse.
Therefore, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared that Indonesia is in a state of drug emergency.
Indonesia is one of the few countries to have imposed the harshest drug laws in the world. The country executed 14 drug convicts in 2015 and four last year.
In February 2016, President Jokowi had called on all stakeholders to declare a war against drug abuse and drug trafficking and ordered that every point of entrance - airports, seaports and border areas - must be closed to drug smugglers.
"I want all efforts aimed at eradicating drugs to be stepped up and carried out in a bolder manner, comprehensively, and in an integrated way," the head of state remarked.
On July 13, the police announced the seizure of one ton methamphetamine, and the Indonesian government observed International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Indonesian Miniature Park, East Jakarta.
The event was attended by Chief of BNN Com. Gen. Budi Waseso, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto, Chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces General Gatot Nurmantyo, and Deputy Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly Oesman Sapta Odang, among others.
This year, the event is themed "Active Role and Empowerment of Every Component and Potential of the Nation in Facing Drug Emergency Situation Toward Healthy Indonesia."
Budi Waseso in his remarks said illicit drugs are weapons in a proxy war to paralyze a country's power; hence the crime must be eradicated comprehensively.
As many as 65 new psychoactive substances (NPS) have entered Indonesia out of the total 664 NPS found in 102 countries, as indicated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in its 2008-2015 World Report.
"Just 65 new types (of illicit drugs) have entered Indonesia, while only 43 types have been regulated in the Health Ministry's Regulation," he said, adding that regulations could not be applied on the rest.
"Indonesia's geographical spread has been used as an opportunity by international drug syndicates to target the country as a market," he said.
The country's large demographic bonus has facilitated several illegal entries, therefore the authorities have intensified security measures in border areas, airports, and seaports.
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 every year. Internationally, the theme for the 2017 edition of the day is ¿Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.¿
EDITED BY INE
(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 14-07-2017