Police in Indonesia’s North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan arrested 1,143 suspected drug traffickers and users in the first seven months of this year.

Chief of the Drug Detective Unit at the Medan City Policy Commissioner Wahyudi said on August 10 that the police seized a substantial amount of drugs including hashish, heroin, crystal meth, ecstasy and Happy Five pills.

According to him, most of the suspected have undergone legal processings and the rest are being investigated intensively. Many are aged between 16 and 24.

Indonesia has become one of the world’s largest centres for drug transit and consumption. Up to 45 percent of the drugs in Southeast Asia are circulated in the country.

The increasing number of drug addicts in Indonesia, especially among young people, has remained a major social menace in the country. In a recent report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime warned of the threat of spreading drug use in Indonesia.

The National Narcotics Agency of Indonesia has uncovered a number of organised crime rings associated with gangs from China, Iran and Africa in recent years.

The number of drug trafficking and transport cases via Indonesian air and sea ports, especially in Kalimantan, have rapidly increased.-VNA