Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Jakarta, Nov 11, 2015 (Antara) - Drug abuse, which has particularly poisoned several young men, is one of the two most serious threats being faced by Indonesia besides radicalism.
         Some 4.1 million Indonesians, mostly young people, or 2.2 percent of the country's population, are drug users. Around 40-45 Indonesians die daily as a result of drug addiction.
         Drug addiction will reduce the competitiveness of Indonesia's human resources in the long term and will even affect the nation's survival, Chief of the Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti recently cautioned.
         Furthermore, illicit drug abuse has caused damages and losses worth Rp60 trillion annually in Indonesia, General Haiti affirmed.
         Immaterial losses and damages caused by illicit drug abuse amounted to Rp60 trillion per year, he reported.

        The losses were calculated based on the funds required to conduct rehabilitation programs and provide medications for drug addicts in addition to the money spent by the addicts to buy drugs.
        Commissioner General Budi Waseso, the chief of the National Anti-Drug Agency (BNN), however, cited a higher figure regarding the country's drug users.
         The number has reached an alarming level of around 5.9 million users, an increase from 4.2 million recorded in June 2015.
        On November 10, Waseso remarked that Jakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi, and North Sumatra were the four provinces with the largest number of drug users.
        Drug users are no longer concentrated in urban areas but are also spread across rural areas, he pointed out.
        The BNN chief viewed drug dealers as state enemies and believed that no mercy should be granted to them.
        He said the BNN vowed to stamp out drug dealers from the country, affirming that no mercy would be shown to the people involved in drug trafficking.
        Waseso reiterated that the government should not give pardon to the state's enemies who would bring disaster to the country.
        The BNN has outlined a series of strict steps to be taken against drug dealers.
        He said the BNN is preparing a special unit that could move swiftly and tactically in pursuing members of drug syndicates, he emphasized.
        The military will be involved in the plan to utilize its special capabilities, he stated.
        By bringing together trained police and military officers, the fight against drug trafficking would be more effective, he noted.
        "Tough measures are necessary against drug dealers as they are wilder than wild animals," he stated.
       Waseso said he will seek legal support from the House of Representatives to ensure that the BNN is not accused of violating human rights.
        The military's involvement is necessary as it has better resources at its disposal, especially to deal with drug smugglers in the sea, he pointed out.
        In October 2015, Waseso said the BNN had planned to intensify sea patrols to prevent illicit drug smuggling attempts via sea.
        "We will sink ships attempting to smuggle illicit drugs into Indonesia," Waseso noted.
        The agency has readied personnel to conduct sea patrols to stop drug smuggling attempts.
        "My target is to sink (those ships) and to arrest the crew," he remarked.
    Such a strategy will have a deterrent effect on international drug syndicates, he affirmed.
        The BNN has also set up a special team to track drug financiers.
        "There will be a special task force," he noted.
        He claimed to have data on the perpetrators who would be tracked down.
        "I will later just give an instruction to find A, so they will look for A until they find him/her," he noted.
        President Joko Widodo has approved the establishment of a special team, and the budget has been allocated, according to Waseso.
        He is optimistic that the special team would play a crucial role in the efforts to eradicate illicit drugs, particularly by arresting the mafia members and financiers.
        The team's members are currently being trained, he revealed.
        "The team I have set up, I guarantee, could not be bribed," he stated.
        President Widodo has frequently reiterated that the country is in a state of drug emergency.
        Acting Governor of North Sumatra H.T. Erry Nuradi stated that prison inmates in Indonesia were largely drug users and dealers.
       The country may suffer a lost generation unless complete support is provided in the fight against illicit drugs, he affirmed.
        The West Jakarta Police recently arrested six suspected drug traffickers and seized 14 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp16 billion smuggled into Indonesia from China.
        "The officers arrested the six suspects from different locations in West, East, and North Jakarta municipalities," Deputy Chief of the West Jakarta Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner M. Irsan remarked in late October 2015.
        In the meantime, Indonesian authorities have been grappling with the recent influx of illicit drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy, exported by illicit drug syndicates in Guangzhou, China, into Indonesia.  
   Anang Iskandar, the then chief of BNN, confirmed that Indonesia has become an important route and market for international drug syndicates in Asia.    
   "One of the biggest illicit drug producers is Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China," Iskandar stated.
        The BNN has identified routes covering China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Western Africa taken by international drug syndicates, he added.  
(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 11-11-2015 16:36:10

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