Rabu, 07 Maret 2018

INDONESIA STEPS UP WAR ON DRUGS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 7, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government is intensifying its war on drugs as the country has been flooded with illicit drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine, smuggled mostly from China.
         In July 2017, the then chief of the National Narcotic Agency Commissioner General Budi Waseso had revealed that based on information that he had received from the authorities in China, some 250 tons of crystal methamphetamine and 1,097.6 tons of drug precursors had been smuggled into Indonesia from China in 2016.
        The Indonesian authorities had managed to seize only some 3.4 tons of crystal methamphetamine in 2016, some 2.1 tons in 2017, and 2.932 tons during the January-February 2018 period.
          "It indicates that Indonesia is being flooded with illicit drugs. I am saddened to see that smuggling of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia is occurring on such a massive scale," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani noted on Feb 23, 2018, following the success in foiling an attempt by four Chinese nationals to smuggle 1.6 tons of methamphetamine aboard a Singaporean-flagged boat.
          On Feb 7, 2018, the Indonesian Navy had seized MV Sunrise Glory and four Taiwanese crew members for smuggling one ton of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia. On Feb 20, four Chinese nationals were arrested in the waters of Riau Islands, which share a maritime border with Singapore, for attempting to smuggle 1.6 tons of crystal meth into Indonesia aboard a Singapore-flagged boat.
         As drugs syndicates attempt to flood Indonesia, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) installed police Inspector General Heru Winarko as the new chief of BNN to succeed Waseso, who was entering retirement age, on March 1, 2018.
         Following his inauguration as BNN chief, Winarko pledged that he would aim his gun directly at a number of big drug bosses in the country.

         Winarko remarked that he would continue the fight against drugs and would  strengthen the hunt for the drug kingpins, who are behind the rampant illicit trade in the country.
           "I will certainly continue the war to eradicate drug trafficking in the country," he explained, after he was officially installed as the chief of BNN on March 1.
           The former deputy at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) noted that BNN would be more watchful over activities at ports, especially small harbors, believed to have been often used to smuggle drugs into the country.
        Meanwhile, Henry Yosodiningrat, chairman of the National Movement of Anti-Narcotic (Granat), urged President Jokowi to issue a government regulation in lieu of Law (Perppu) on Drug Emergency following cases of rampant drug smuggling into Indonesia.
          The Perppu is necessary to swiftly respond to rampant smuggling activities owing to which the country is believed to be in a state of drug emergency.
         Yosodiningrat noted that Indonesia had, since long, been in a state of drug emergency. He also claimed to have warned about the state of drug emergency a decade ago even before the president had declared it.
           Yosodiningrat called on the attorney general to conduct the fourth stage of executions of drug-related convicts on the death penalty list, as the longer they stay in prisons, the more they will engage in drug trafficking.
            "Delaying the executions means giving them more opportunities and allowing them (to commit drug trafficking within prisons)," he pointed out.
            In 2015, the country had executed 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, and four others in July 2016.    In 2017,  the Indonesian authorities had shot dead as many as 79 suspects of illegal drug cases for resisting arrests.
         Another strong reaction came from Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan called for tougher measure against drug dealers "if necessary death sentence."
    Zulkifli Hasan pointed to last month's attempts three times in two weeks  to smuggle tons of drugs the country.
         He considers Indonesia is now in a situation of drug emergency, therefore, he asked the law enforcement authorities not to hesitate to shoot dead drug kingpins.
         He even suggested severance of diplomatic ties with the countries suspected of sending the drugs into Indonesia.
        China and Malaysia as the transit point, have been the main countries of origin of drugs found smuggled into the country. Some 80 percents of illicit drugs smuggled into Indonesia are from China.
        Besides, Chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Bambang Soesatyo has asked the government to propose a revision of the narcotics law soon now that the circulation of drugs in the country has reached an alarming level.
            "DPR encourages the government to immediately propose a revision of the narcotics law which has been incorporated to the priority national legislation program of 2018," he said in his opening address to the fourth session period at the parliament building in Jakarta on March 5, 2018.
            DPR has committed itself to wage war against the circulation of drugs which has reached an alarming level, he said.
            "We stress that DPR is waging war against drugs. In fact, we have asked the DPR Legislation Body to conduct a revision of the narcotics law, which is (actually) the government's initiative," he said. 
  But if needed, DPR will initiate the revision of the narcotics law as a manifestation of its commitment to wage war against drugs, he said.
          He said DPR will not let Indonesia become a heaven for the entry of drugs from other countries.
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(f001/INE)
EDITED BY INE

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 07-03-2018

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