Indonesian authorities have registered their first arrest of suspects for allegedly dealing in the drug methcathinone, a recreational narcotic that has only recently appeared in the country.
Sumirat Dwiyanto, a spokesman for the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), said on Friday that the arrest earlier this week marked “the first methcathinone case we have uncovered.”
He said that one of the suspects, identified only as A.P., a 23-year-old university student, was arrested along with a friend, M.A., at a house in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.
Officers seized 28 grams of methcathinone from the location, Sumirat said. They also found just over four kilograms of ecstasy and 102 grams of methamphetamine at A.P.’s home.
After questioning A.P. and M.A., officers went on to arrest two other men, identified only as S.U. and S.Y., on suspicion of complicity in the dealing of methcathinone.
The four suspects face at least between six years in prison or a maximum sentence of death if convicted on drug dealing charges.
Methcathinone is an addictive stimulant similar to cathinone, both of which are amphetamine-type stimulants. This family of drugs came to public attention in January after Raffi Ahmad, a television presenter, was arrested for possession of methylone, another ATS.
A report last month from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime identified the growth of the ATS trade as posing “a considerable threat to the security, health and the welfare of the Indonesian population.”