Indonesia calls for prevention of drug smuggling through ASEAN seaports
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has called for stronger regional cooperation to tackle drug trafficking through the ASEAN Seaport Interdiction Task Force (ASIFT) amid growing threats of international drug trafficking, a top minister said on Tuesday.
ASEAN member states must step up collaboration to take the initiative in intercepting drugs smuggled through international seaports in Southeast Asia, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said during the ASEAN Summits in Vientiane, Laos.
"Indonesia, like any other country in the region, has experienced an increase in illicit drug trafficking through sea routes. We have to strengthen our joint efforts to tackle the issue," Wiranto said in his address at the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council meeting, according to a media release sent out by his office in Jakarta.
ASIFT, which was introduced by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in Batam, Riau Islands, in July, aims at strengthening efforts to curb drug trafficking in the region. ASIFT also aims to strengthen regional cooperation to stop drug trafficking in the region and manifest ASEAN's strong commitment to fighting drugs.
He reiterated that drug smuggling in the region, especially in Indonesia, had become a "drug state of emergency", adding that transnational collaboration between relevant officials was necessary to fight drug networks. (rin)
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