Malaysian Malindo Pilot Arrested in Batam for Drug Abuse

The National Narcotics Agency's random inspections at airports will become part of its routine operations. (Antara Photo/M N Kanwa)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 6:01 PM December 31, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Transportation

Jakarta. The National Narcotics Agency, or BNN, detained a Malaysian national for drug abuse at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Saturday (30/12).

BNN arrested the man, who is a pilot at Malindo Airlines, a Malaysian subsidiary of Indonesia's largest budget airline Lion Air Group, during a random inspection. The pilot tested positive for crystal meth.

"He is in custody at the BNN Riau Islands office," the agency's provincial head Richard Nainggolan said, as quoted by Antaranews.com.

BNN also seized 1.9 grams of crystal meth, a meth bong and aluminium foil, which it suspects was used by the pilot.

BNN screened 69 members of air crews serving on eight local flights and one domestic flight.

The operation was part of the country's effort to curb drug abuse among airline employees, especially during the busy year-end holiday season.

Earlier this month, police arrested a senior pilot from Lion Air for using crystal meth at a hotel room in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. In June, BNN caught another Lion Air pilot, an Indian national, for taking hashish in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

Lion Air said it conducts regular drug tests and has zero tolerance for narcotics.

Drug users in Indonesia face mandatory rehabilitation and up to 12 years in jail.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said last week that the ministry and BNN plan to pay more attention to drug abuse cases among pilots.

"After this holiday season, I will work with BNN to monitor the lifestyles of pilots," he said, adding that screenings will include nail and hair samples to check if they had used drugs in the past.

BNN's random checks at airports will become part of its routine operations.

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