Jakarta’s anti-narcotics body plans to visit the capital’s nightclubs to spread awareness about the stimulant cathinone following the arrest of television personality Raffi Ahmad, who allegedly misused a derivative of the banned drug.
“There is a directive from the National Narcotics Agency (BNN); one of the programs is prevention and empowerment. We will revisit our program and cathinone will be one of the topics that we will inform the public of,” Ali Johardi, the head of Jakarta chapter of BNN (BNNP DKI), said on Friday.
Ali said BNNP DKI would focus its awareness campaign on nightclubs based on a BNN report, which found nightclubs were the most common place for drug transactions in the capital last year.
“We are still thinking positively, not all nightclubs are like that,” he said. “So we’ll come to those clubs and meet the waitresses and hostesses to talk.”
BNN spokesman Sr. Comr. Sumirat Dwiyanto said the agency estimated that there were 300,000 drug users in Jakarta currently, with most using Ecstasy, marijuana, heroine or methamphetamine.
“Methylone, the derivative of cathinone, has captured our intention, especially because we have found khat fields in Cisarua [West Java], which we have destroyed.” Khat is a crop containing the amphetamine-like stimulant cathinone.
Methylone, a relatively new drug, has captured headlines since Raffi’s arrest in a BNN raid on Jan. 27, which also netted three other celebrities who were later released.
Raffi has been charged with drug possession, which could see him face four to 12 years in prison if convicted. In addition to the TV presenter, six other people arrested at his home face charges of consuming methylone and marijuana. Unlike the possession charge, however, the consumption charge calls for them to undergo rehabilitation rather than jail time.