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Indonesia Locked And Loaded For Brutal Drug War

REUTERS/Beawiharta

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Indonesia’s narcotics agency is stocking up on weapons and tools for a potentially brutal war on the country’s severe drug problem, reports the Jakarta Post.

The National Narcotics Network (BNN) is in the process of procuring firearms, equipment, and intelligence tools. It’s also upgrading facilities to ensure it can combat Indonesia’s advanced drug networks.

“Many threats have challenged our jobs. Technology has continued to develop and the drug mafias also have equipment that manages to avoid our X-ray machines. We should modernize our equipment since our enemies are drug dealers who have different capabilities,” Commander General Budi Waseso, head of BNN, said Tuesday.

Waseo revealed that BNN is working to acquire state-of-the-art surveillance tools, X-ray systems, and detectors. BNN is also purchasing pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and other larger weapons.

Waseo previously indicated that he admired the drug war in the Philippines, and would like to conduct a Duterte-style drug war in Indonesia. Rodrigo Duterte is the Philippine president. “If such a policy were implemented in Indonesia, we believe that the number of drug traffickers and users in our beloved country would drop drastically. I would be on the frontline to eradicate all the traffickers.”

He is the same Indonesian official who suggested building a prison for death row drug convicts on an island guarded by crocodiles last year. “We will place as many crocodiles as we can there. I will search for the most ferocious type of crocodile. You can’t bribe crocodiles. You can’t convince them to let you escape.”

Duterte’s drug war, which has taken over 2,000 lives, has drawn heavy criticism from human rights organizations and the United Nations.

Human rights groups responded quickly to Waseo saying he wanted to follow Duterte’s methods.

“Waseo should publicly decry the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’ for what it truly is: a brutal, unlawful assault on the rule of law and universal human rights protections that has targeted some of the country’s poorest, most marginalized citizens,” explained Human Rights Watch in a statement on its website.

BNN spokesman Slamet Pribadi said Wednesday a Philippines-style drug war would only be carried out, “if our laws make it possible.”

Indonesia has stepped up its punishments for drug-related crimes. In some cases, drug-related crimes are capital offenses. Indonesia is home to around four million drug abusers, one million of which are drug addicts, and drugs kill around 30 people each day, reports the Jakarta Globe.

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