TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A joint team from the Customs and Excise Office and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) caught four persons smuggling 80 kg of drugs, brought in from Thailand, into East Aceh district, Aceh, recently.
The coordinated drug raid resulted in the arrest of four suspects, identified by their initials as A, K, P, and M, head of the Customs and Excise Directorate General-Aceh Office, Safuadi, informed on Wednesday.
The suspects were apprehended while trying to smuggle crystal methamphetamine obtained from Thailand using a boat, he said.
The raid, which involved the customs and excise authorities of Aceh, North Sumatra, and Riau Islands provinces, was conducted after the BNN received a tip about drug traffickers planning to smuggle a crystal meth package into the country from Thailand, he added.
Acting on the tip, the BNN and the Customs and Excise Directorate formed a land-based team and a sea-based team. The sea-based team deployed a Customs and Excise patrol ship, BC30001, to keep a lookout for the smugglers, Safuadi informed.
At 5:30 a.m. local time on April 17, 2021, the patrol vessel’s radar spotted a boat headed towards the coast of Idi Rayeuk town in East Aceh district, he said.
The Customs and Excise patrol ship chased and intercepted the boat, and managed to retrieve two rice sacks containing crystal meth and mobile phones that the smugglers threw into the sea, he added.
"The BNN has transported all suspects along with the evidence of their drug crime. This drug raid operation has proven the government's seriousness in protecting its citizens from getting trapped into a vicious cycle of drug addiction," Safuadi said.
Domestic and transnational drug dealers are targeting Indonesia on account of its vast population and millions of drug users.
The drug trade in the nation is valued at nearly Rp66 trillion.
People from all strata of society are falling prey to drugs in the country, regardless of their socio-economic and professional backgrounds.
Over the past few decades, the Indonesian government has taken harsh punitive action against drug barons found smuggling and trading contraband in the country.
The BNN has sought capital punishment for those involved in the drug trade in the country, while Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued shoot-at-sight orders against drug kingpins.
However, this has failed to deter drug traffickers who have continued to treat Indonesia as a major market, prompting law enforcers to crack down on them.