Photo: President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – President Joko Widodo appointed and installed Inspector General of Police Heru Winarko at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday as the new Head of the National Narcotics Agency. Winarko is a former law enforcement deputy at the Corruption Eradication Commission, replaces Police Commissioner General Budi Waseso, who will retire in March.

With the new head, President Joko Widodo expects drug circulation can be suppressed by the agency, especially in terms of the international drug trade.

International narcotic networks take advantage of Indonesia’s poor security of extremely long coastlines. International narcotic supply is 80 per cent smuggled by sea.

Early this year, the Agency stated that a lot of international narcotics syndicates are active in Indonesia. Currently, there are 72 international narcotic networks actively operating to smuggle drugs to Indonesia.

Indonesia can only take down two international syndicates from South Afrika and Iran. Despite the fact that the two syndicates are not active for quite some time, the Police still needs to closely monitor them.

This year, the agency intends to evaluate international networks that are weak, inactive and active. One of the active networks is that of Malaysia.

The Insider Stories recapped Winarko’s press conference session after the inauguration to know more about Heru Winarko’s strategy. Below are excerpts from the interview:

Q: What is your priority program ahead?

A: I will continue any regulations that Budi Waseso has done. We will also enhance the strategy based on law optimally, and thus I’m expecting support from any stakeholders. We all know, drugs eradication can not only be done by the Agency but by all people in this nation. Drugs are our common enemy.

Q: You were a part of Corruption Eradication Commission. Will you value the same integrity in the Narcotics Agency?

A: Of course.  Some things that can upgrade our performance in Commission will be adjusted in the agency.

Q: There are many cross-country narcotics smuggling. What will you do? Will there be cooperation with certain parties?

A: We need cooperation not only from within the country but also with foreign partners, especially with regional. Drug is our common enemy. We expect the regional countries stand together with us.

Q: Do you agree on the death penalty for drug lord? 

A: We will continue what has become the policy [of the government].

Q: What is the main challenge of drug eradication?

A: The challenges and obstacles are already written in the Constitution. We will maximize the efforts and act synergistically.

Q: Is there any special message from Budi Waseso?

A: I know him very well. We both went to the same Police academy. He gave me guidance in this field.