Arrests for drug abuse up 50%
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI saw a significant increase in the number of people arrested for drug abuse last year.
Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Hj Jasmin Hj Jamudin said yesterday there had been a 50 per cent increase in the number of arrests for drug abuse last year compared to 2012.
Data provided by the NCB showed that 679 people were arrested for illegal drug possession in 2013, while the number of arrests in 2012 was 450.
“The majority of the drug abusers were mainly of (the) Malay ethnic group, comprising 75 per cent of the total arrests, followed by foreigners and permanent residents living in Brunei Darussalam,’’ said Hj Jasmin in a speech during the 6th Bilateral Meeting between the NCB and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore.
At the meeting, which was held at the NCB Headquarters in Gadong, Hj Jasmin said there had also been an increase in the number of drug traffickers arrested at border checkpoints – 74 in 2013 compared to 30 in 2012.
From 2011 to 2013, inclusive, NCB data showed there had been 70 arrests for illegal drug possession reported at the Sungai Tujuh Control Post, 26 arrests at the Labu Control Post, 21 arrests at the Kuala Lurah Control Post, nine arrests at Brunei International Airport, and two each at the Ujung Jalan Immigration Control Post and the Serasa Muara Terminal.
The data showed there had been a significant decrease in the amount of methamphetamine (syabu) seized, from a gross weight of 9,005.12 grams in 2012 to 1,976.72 grams in 2013. However, the amount of marijuana (leaf) confiscated increased by more than 17 per cent from a gross weight of 638.99 grams in 2012 to 752.27 grams in 2013.
“I am confident this meeting has met its objectives, especially in the exchange of information on the drug trends and situation in both countries,’’ said Hj Jasmin.
Closer bilateral relations between Brunei’s NCB and Singapore’s CNB began in 2008 when four members from the NCB went to Singapore to share information on best practices on drug abuse. This started a series of working visits, including the bilateral meeting held alternately in both countries.
The bilateral meeting aims to exchange views and share new developments on drug control, such as implementation of the law, drug prevention education and monitoring programmes.
The meeting was co-chaired by Hj Jasmin and his Singaporean counterpart, CNB Director Ng Ser Song. Leading a team of six, Ng will be in Brunei until February 20. Among the places he is scheduled to visit are Al-Islah Centre, and in Temburong District, the Labu and Ujung Jalan border points, Senukoh Village and the Outward Bound Brunei Darussalam Centre. – Sally Piri
The Brunei Times