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Indonesia destroys more than two tonnes of crystal meth

Indonesia destroys more than two tonnes of crystal meth

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Indonesia destroys more than two tonnes of crystal meth

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Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla (centre) yesterday inspected the confiscated crystal methamphetamine wearing protective gloves and a mask before tossing some bags into an incinerator in Jakarta.
Published3 hours ago

JAKARTA • More than two tonnes of crystal methamphetamine was destroyed yesterday as Indonesia stepped up its crackdown on drugs in one of the biggest such operations in recent years.

The South-east Asian country has some of the world's toughest anti-narcotics laws, and imposes the death penalty for trafficking.

The crystal meth had been seized from foreign-registered ships in two separate operations in Indonesian waters near Singapore earlier this year. Four Taiwanese and four Chinese crew members were arrested.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla inspected the drugs wearing protective gloves and a mask before tossing some bags of the crystal meth into an incinerator in Jakarta.

"We respect t he police for seizing this... 2.6 tonnes (of crystal meth) has been confiscated but there is still much more out there, so the danger is still real," he said.

Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim-majority country - has made combating narcotics a top priority and resumed the execution of traffickers in 2015 after an unofficial hiatus.

Eighteen convicted drug smugglers - including 15 foreigners - have been sent to the firing squad under President Joko Widodo, sparking a diplomatic backlash.

Last month, eight Taiwanese drug smugglers were sentenced to death.

Mr Joko has repeatedly defended his tough stance, claiming Indonesia faces a "drugs emergency" and must act to protect the next generation.

There were about six million drug users in Indonesia in 2016 out of a total population of about 260 million, according to the national narcotics agency.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in th e print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'Indonesia destroys more than two tonnes of crystal meth'. Print Edition | Subscribe Topics:
  • INDONESIA
  • DRUG OFFENCES
  • CRIME

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