MAKASSAR, KOMPAS.com – Police arrested five high school students in Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi for possession of synthetic marijuana, a new type of drug that is starting to make inroads in Indonesia.
Police Chief Brigadier Emir Sholihan said the police encountered the suspects, who were between the ages of 16 and 17, as they were on patrol during the small hours of September 14.
“We saw them as they were converging [in violation of Covid-19 health protocols]. One of them threw away a small bag as we approached them,” said Emir. “When we retrieved [the bag], we saw that there were dozens of small sachets of what we suspect to be synthetic marijuana.”
Emir added that the police confiscated Rp. 1.2 million ($80.41) from the students, who are currently being questioned by anti-narcotics police.
“We determined that one of the students, whom we identified as AD, was the drug dealer. He has been peddling the [synthetic marijuana] to teenagers in Makassar with the starting price of Rp. 50 thousand [$3.36] for a small sachet [of synthetic marijuana].”
The sale of synthetic marijuana is a relatively new phenomenon. The Makassar bust is the second of its kind to be made over the past week, after police in the West Java town of Cimahi arrested another synthetic marijuana manufacturer and dealer last week.
“Investigators nabbed RY at his boardinghouse, which also doubles as his workplace, in the West Java town of Cimahi,” said Cimahi Police Precinct Chief Police Commissioner M. Yoris Maulana Yusuf on September 7.
“RY learned how to make synthetic marijuana through social media. The 29-year-old added that he can make between Rp. 200 and 300 million [$13,482.52 – $20,115.40] annually from selling his contraband by the kilogram throughout Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra.”