Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Drug abuse on the rise in Bandung

BANDUNG: The number of narcotic-related cases in the West Java's capital of Bandung has been increasing during the last three years, police records indicate.

Bandung Regional Police chief Sr. Supt. Timur Pradopo, quoting from the record, said on Thursday that there were 60 cases in 1998 and 171 cases in 1999.

"In the past ten months we have handled 144 cases," he said at a one-day seminar on Narcotics, Law Enforcement and Regional Policies at the Panghegar Hotel.

Timur did not mention the reasons for the increase in the number of such cases.

"Narcotics have also been abused in rural areas among children and housewives," he said.

Another speaker, the head of the West Java Prosecutors' Office, Marwan Effendy, agreed with the police data, saying that in 1999 his office processed 101 narcotics and psychotropic- related cases and conveyed them to the district court. "In the last ten months, we have completed 212 dossiers and have submitted them to the court for further processing. Unfortunately many of the defendants have had to be freed due to lack of evidence." (25/sur)