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Jakarta Post

Indonesia calls for prevention of drug smuggling through ASEAN seaports 

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 6, 2016   /  08:59 pm
Indonesia calls for prevention of drug smuggling through ASEAN seaports  Suspects line up at the South Sulawesi Police headquarters in Makassar, South Sulawesi, during a media conference on Aug 15. on the attempted smuggling of crystal methamphetamine through Nusantara Parepare Port. Police seized 10 kilograms of the drug and arrested 17 suspects who are thought to work with international drug networks. (Antara/Dewi Fajriani)

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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