The suspects, only identified by their initials SA (34) and DE (30), often carried a gun while selling the drugs to their clients, according to Deputy Chief of the East Java Police's Criminal Investigation Department Adjunct Sen. Coms. Fadli Widyanto.
"The gun might have been used to frighten the people and increase the confidence of the drug lords in them," he said, adding that the suspects, both residents of Jember, East Java, admitted that they procured the home-made gun from a source in Banyuwangi.
The gun was first owned by the Banyuwangi resident, identified as ND. ND then sold it to SA. However, SA passed it on to DE who carried it when buying the packages of Double L pills from BG. The police are still hunting ND and BG to uncover this drug case, he said.
East Java remains under grave threat from drug dealers. In December 2019, the East Java police destroyed 28 kg of crystal methamphetamine, or sabu-sabu, recently confiscated in drug raids that the policemen conducted in six places around the province.
The illicit drug was part of the 65 kg of crystal meth the East Java police officers seized from the suspects, arrested during several raids this year, according to Chief of the East Java Police's Narcotics Division Sen. Coms SG Manik.
The police officers also arrested several suspected drug dealers and couriers. A majority of the crystal meth was smuggled from overseas into Indonesia, he said.
Indonesia is still targeted by both local and transnational drug rings as several individuals from its working-age population have been embroiled in a vicious circle.
Some 50 drug use-related deaths occur in Indonesia. However, their deaths have failed to deter other drug users in the country from consuming these banned substances, according to the National Narcotics Agency's (BNN's) report.
Users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other addictive drugs transcend communities and socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Hence, Indonesia is perceived by both domestic and transnational drug dealers as a potential market due to its huge population and millions of drug users. The drug trade in the country is estimated to reach nearly Rp66 trillion.
Due to the ongoing serious threats posed by these drug lords, on December 5, 2019 BNN Chief Commissioner General Heru Winarko discussed issues with top security minister Mahfud MD on Indonesia's war on drugs, including the need to execute death row convicts.
"Capital punishment is part of the laws that should be implemented," he told journalists following his meeting with the coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs.
Several death row prisoners have yet to be executed for drug-related offences. Apart from this issue, he also deliberated on several other matters, including drugs in prison.
The easiest way to deal with incidents of drugs in prison was to stall communication networks inside penitentiaries to halt drug transactions, he believes.