118 Indonesian police officers have tested positive for narcotics so far this year

While National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Budi Waseso has been ramping up his rhetoric this week, calling for Indonesia to step up its war on drugs by following the lead of Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte and instituting a shoot-on-sight policy for dealers, the police have also acknowledged this that many of its own members are involved in the country’s drug trade, either as users or dealers.

According to Commissioner Irianto of the National Police’s internal affairs division, the number of police officers found to be involved with narcotics is already higher than in 2015, with 118 officers having tested positive for drug use in 2016. Out of those, 116 have tested positive for methamphetamines and two tested positive for ecstasy.

“Of the 118, five are dealers and 113 are users,” he said on Wednesday as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Irianto did not go into any details as to how those officers were punished, but stated that the police followed strict procedures to monitor their officers and educate them about the perils of becoming involved. 

Irianto also acknowledged that some officers had been found to be criminally mishandling narcotics cases, including taking bribes from criminals and selling off drugs collected as evidence.

Police Ombudsman committee member Adrianus Meliala argued that there needed to be heavier penalties for policemen involved in the drug trade than facing dishonorable discharge and criminal charges. He said the temptation to profit off of the drug trade was very high for police officers, who generally have low salaries, and that only by giving them even harsher criminal penalties than civilians can create a proper deterrent effect. 

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