‘Ex-barber’ heads up
narcotics agency

Insp. Gen. Anang Iskandar, who claims hairdressing as among the skills on his CV, was sworn in by National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo as the new chief of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) on Tuesday.

“I hope that the BNN under Anang’s leadership will improve its cooperation with people and the government to create a drug-free Indonesia,” Timur said after the swearing-in ceremony held at BNN headquarters in Jakarta.

“In terms of capability and integrity, Anang is excellent,” Timur added.

Anang, currently acting governor of the National Police Academy, replaces Comr. Gen. Gories Mere as the nation’s top narcotics law enforcement officer. Gories will retire this month.

According to Timur, Anang was picked by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono among other candidates proposed by the National Police.

“I will prioritize programs in some areas, including rehabilitation and people empowerment,” Anang told reporters.

Anang acknowledged that efforts to combat narcotics in Indonesia would continue remain difficult for the foreseeable future. “The BNN, as Indonesia’s leading agency in tackling the eradication of narcotics-related crimes, will continue to crackdown on rampant drug dealing networks, both locally and internationally,” he said.

Among the BNN’s latest antinarcotics actions have been the arrests of five people for allegedly trading 2.6 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu, in Jakarta, last month and the raid on the notorious Kerobokan Prison in Bali, three weeks ago, where a drug convict was arrested for allegedly controlling an international drugs ring behind bars.

Born into a humble family in Mojokerto, East Java, 54 years ago, Anang loves to write and regularly updates his personal blog anangiskandar.wordpress.com.

“My mother is illiterate while my father was a barber until his death in 1983,” wrote Anang on the blog’s “About” page.

Anang said he had become a barber and freelance photographer after high school to raise money to study at the Military Academy.

His latest blog post was uploaded in September, entitled “My fifth letter to my kids and wife”, where Anang told his loved ones not to be sad amid the challenges they faced.

Anang is no stranger to narcotics law enforcement. In 2008, he left his position as Surabaya Metropolitan Police chief to serve as the head of the BNN’s Prevention Center.

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