Bali's Chief of Police, Irjen. I Made Pastika, recently told Reuters News agency "it's all out war" in the battle to rid narcotics from the popular resort island.
The comments, from the man named "Asian Newsmaker of the Year" by Time Magazine for his central role in the capture of the Bali bombers, follow closely on the recent sentencing of 28-year-old Australian, Shapelle Corby, to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to smuggle 4.2 kilograms of marijuana through Bali's airport.
Acknowledging that Bali's drug trade was in large part fueled by demand by foreign tourists, Chief Pastika insisted that his promised crackdown would not harm tourism, but was necessary to protect the welfare of both tourists and locals alike and needed to preserve the long-term reputation of the island.
Pledging to go after "the big bosses Ė both local and foreigner" the police chief told Reuters that "we are not just blindly catching the small suspects and the petty offenders."
Only Dopes Bring Dope to Bali
The Police General said that Bali will always welcome foreign tourists, but implored visitors, especially Australians, to not brings drugs to the island.
Admitting Bali's long association with marijuana and widespread drug dealing on beaches, streets and clubs, the head of the anti-narcotics division, Sutanto, said Bali's major drug problem remains the illegal trade in heroin and ecstasy. Most heroin found in Bali originates in the Golden triangle of insular Southeast Asia.
Bali's chief of police said his department is increasingly targeting trans-national crime, using police intelligence and closer cooperation with foreign police agencies. The double edge sword of intelligence operations and cross border cooperation will, according to Bali's top cop, make it increasingly difficult for drug dealers and those involved in sexual predation on under-age children to remain on the island.
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