Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said on Saturday that many military personnel still got involved in the drug business after being asked as law enforcers to monitor it.
Gatot said that he would impose severe punishments on personnel involved in drugs and give no mercy. "The TNI has trained and armed soldiers, so if they use drugs, they will no longer be soldiers. We will give severe sanctions and also dismiss them from the institution as an additional punishment," he said.
According to the chief, the TNI has put some effort into cleaning up the institution from drugs, such as by conducting unannounced urine tests and raiding the houses of personnel.
Last week the intelligence unit of the Army's Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) held a series of raids in the Kostrad housing complex. During the raids, they arrested 33 drug suspects: 19 from the military, five from the police and nine civilians, including a lawmaker for a prominent party in Indonesia.
On Sunday, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) arrested a military officer with the initials JS at the Kalibata City Apartments in South Jakarta because of drug possession. The BNN handed JS, who holds the rank of major, over to the military police.
The number of military personnel caught using drugs has been on the rise. Based on TNI data in 2014, there were 161 drug cases in 2012 and the number increased to 235 in 2013. The drug suspects were not only the low-ranking soldiers, but were also middle- or high-ranking officers.