Wanda tests negative for drugs, but still faces drug charges: BNN
The Jakarta Post
The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has kept Jakarta Legislative Council member Wanda Hamidah — who was apprehended during a drug raid over the weekend — in police custody despite her testing negative for drugs.
BNN spokesman Sr. Comr. Sumirat Dwiyanto announced on Tuesday that 10 of the 17 people arrested at the house of popular television personality Raffi Ahmad in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta would remain in detention until next Saturday.
During the raid, BNN agents confiscated two rolls of marijuana and 14 capsules, identified as 3.4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone, also known as methylone.
Only seven people tested positive for drugs or addictive substances, the BNN prolonged their detention period along with three other individuals, including Wanda, a former model and current Jakarta Legislative Council member from the National Mandate Party (PAN).
“We need to question them further […] They may have breached the Narcotics Law, although they tested negative for drugs,” Sumirat said after a press conference at the BNN headquarters.
According to Article 131 of the 2009 Narcotics Law, any individual who is aware of activities related to drug abuse and intentionally does not report it, faces one year’s imprisonment or a Rp 50 million (US$5,166) fine.
Several parties doubted if the BNN had a strong enough case against Wanda, whose arrest has further damaged her party’s reputation following the fatal accident earlier this year involving the youngest son of PAN chairman Hatta Rajasa.
National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA) chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait suspected that Wanda, who serves as a Komnas PA commissioner, might have been framed.
“I couldn’t believe this. Wanda may have been framed. She is a friendly, good person,” he said after meeting Wanda at the BNN headquarters.
Arist said that Wanda was ready to resign if proven guilty.
“I will certainly resign from Komnas PA and the Jakarta Legislative Council [if proven guilty],” Arist said recalling Wanda’s statement to him.
On the same day, the BNN officially released seven individuals, including celebrity couple Irwansyah and Zaskia Sungkar. The others were identified as Furqi, Roni Wijaya, Mira, Nafi and Muhammad.
“According to our investigation and testimonies from witnesses, they were proven to not be involved in the drug case,” Sumirat said.
Zaskia explained that she, her husband and her employee, Furqi, arrived at Raffi’s house for business purposes.
“We came to ask for Raffi’s signature for a business [related task]. When we arrived, the raid had started. We are innocent,” she said, adding that BNN employees treated them well during the detainment.
Sumirat said that Mira and the three men were sleeping on the second floor when the BNN agents entered the house.
“The three men, who came from East Java, arrived at 11 p.m. on Saturday. Four of them woke up at 4 a.m. the raid happened at 5 a.m.,” he said, while declining to elaborate on the four’s relationship with Raffi.
During the press conference, Sumirat said that the BNN would collaborate with the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM), the Health Ministry and universities to determine the legal status of methylone, which is not listed in the Narcotics Law.
“This substance creates effects similar to [illegal narcotic] MDMA,” he said.
Methylone has been classified as a harmful or illegal substance in several countries, including the US, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (yps)
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