Major Drug Shock Rocks Police in Aceh

Banda Aceh, TAG –  Some  1,000 of Aceh’s 13,000 police officers have tested positive for drugs, but their boss says there are no plans to prosecute them.

Aceh Police Chief Insp. Gen. Iskandar Hasan said the officers would be sent to a monthlong “training session” at a police station in the province.
“We’ll see whether they will change or not in a month using the indicators that we have set up,” Iskandar said. “If they cannot be changed, we’re going to fire them.”
A total of 189 officers have already been sent on the course after the National Narcotics Agency conducted hair tests to determine if any officers were using drugs. At least one former subdistrict police chief was among the 850 to 1,000 officers who tested positive.
A number of the first class of 189 officers were questioned directly by Iskandar as he inspected their training on Tuesday. Several admitted that they were users of shabu-shabu, or crystal methamphetamine.
Iskandar said drug dealers were deliberating targeting police officers, trying to turn them into users.
“It’s their strategy to get security and law enforcers, such as police, military, prosecutors and prison guards [using drugs]” he said. “The idea is to protect their operations. If all the law enforcers are silent, who will arrest them?”
In addition to the training, officers who test positive for drugs will face internal sanctions, which could include pay cuts or delays in promotions.
Iskandar had previously said that Aceh was a known international distribution point for crystal methamphetamine, with drugs coming from Malaysia and being distributed to other parts of Indonesia. Aceh is also known for its output of locally grown marijuana.
Despite being known for drug production and trafficking, the province has seen relatively few drug busts.
“If the [850 to 1,000 officers] are all asleep, when will we catch the dealers? When we hold an operation, they’ll be warned and take off,” Iskandar said.
The police chief said that he hoped to involve other government agencies in helping to fight the influence of drugs in Aceh.
“We hope that the prosecutors and local governments will take steps to prevent narcotics from influencing us. We should not be ashamed, this is a national problem,” Iskandar said.
“Aceh is just the gateway, because this used to be a classic smuggling route,” he said of the road drugs took from Southeast Asia’s golden triangle area to the wider world.
Two weeks ago, Aceh Police destroyed almost two tons of marijuana plants that had been confiscated from fields covering about 157 hectares.
Despite the police deciding not to prosecute their own, civilians caught using drugs, either in Aceh or elsewhere in the country, should not expect the same treatment.
Currently, a drug-using Japanese tourist in Bali is facing up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to Rp 10 billion ($1.1 million).
Yao Noriyoshi, 44, pleaded guilty on Nov. 24 to possession of 1.4 grams of marijuana and 1.6 grams of hashish.
Last month, a 14-year old Australian boy received a two-month custodial sentence from a court in Bali for possession of 6.9 grams of marijuana.[]
Major Drug Shock Rocks Police in Aceh Major Drug Shock Rocks Police in Aceh Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on December 14, 2011 Rating: 5

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