Banda Aceh. Police in Aceh destroyed more than 2,000 kilograms of marijuana on Wednesday and admitted the involvement of their own personnel in the high-volume trafficking of the drug in the province.
Insp. Gen. Iskandar Hasan, the Aceh Police chief, oversaw the incineration of the 2,361 kilograms of marijuana, 1.79 kilograms of heroin and 6,000 pot plants at the provincial police headquarters.
He said the drugs, with an estimated street value of Rp 11 billion, were seized throughout the course of the year by police and by customs officers from five suspects, two of whom remain at large.
Iskandar said the marijuana represented just a fraction of the more than 15,500 kilograms seized from around 700 suspects since the start of the year.
He blamed the high volume of the drug on the involvement of police, citing the arrest last week of an officer in Medan, North Sumatra, for alleged drug trafficking.
“The marijuana bosses are exploiting our officers to ensure the smooth flow of their operations,” he said.
However, he did not say whether his office planned to charge any officers for complicity in trafficking or whether any preventive programs would be put in place.
The police chief was speaking next to the bales of marijuana, which in keeping with standard police procedure for the destruction of narcotics had been set on fire.
Last December, Iskandar revealed that up to 1,000 of the Aceh Police’s 13,000 officers had tested positive for drug use, but no charges were ever pressed against them.
Instead, they were sent on a monthlong reform program.
The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) lists Aceh as the province with the highest rates of marijuana trafficking and use, and fourth nationwide for all drug trafficking based on estimated street value.
Basri Ali, head of the BNNP, the provincial office of the BNN, said the situation was “growing dangerous.”
“What makes it worrying is that marijuana is no longer just being sold in big cities here, but is also available in kampungs,” he said, adding that dealers were increasingly targeting non-traditional users such as schoolchildren and office workers.
“If this isn’t addressed urgently, the younger generation will be ruined.”