Security Institutions must Confront Pressing Drug Threat
Mahein’s Voice No. 74 analyses the threat of drugs and their impact for Timor-Leste. This includes challenges which are faced by Security Institutions for further combating. Drug issues are increasingly becoming a public concern in Timor-Leste as the flow of drugs into Timor-Leste increases, posing a threat to Timorese youth that are increasingly turning to them.
This report cites a number of Timorese that have been recruited by drugs syndicates to be the distributors and consumers of drug, threatening a new generation of the nation. From evidence gathered, artist Juga Frans Xavier Gama (Juga Gama), was apprehended by the PNTL after a raid on his house on the 11th of December 2012 for the distribution and use of drugs. This report also cites the actions of the KIBATA group in 2013 that caused a Marconi youth to die from the overconsumption of drugs.
FM’s report also provides evidence that foreigners have used Timor-Leste as a transit place for the purchase and sale of drugs. This is becoming a larger problem in Timor-Leste due to the porous land and sea borders and perceived fragility of the security sector. A better system of control is thus needed to reduce the amount of foreign citizens who are bringing in drugs to Timor-Leste.
In addition to this Timor-Leste has no law on drugs, this presents an even larger challenge to the security institutions in combat this threat when there is no defined law or policies associated to it policing it. In spite of this FM has noted a strong effort by the PNTL to arrest foreign nationals as well as Timorese involved in the drug trade. This however still presents a great challenge due to Timor-Leste’s large border that allows drug networks to easily invest in the country.
This is a great threat to all Timorese as Drug trafficking is a transnational crime which threatens the country’s future by destroying many a young Timorese’s future through addiction and allowing organized crime syndicates to get set up in the country.
1. Recommends to the Ministry of Justice to accelerate the draft law over drugs trafficking and illicit consumption of drugs to the Council of Ministry.
2. Recommends to the Security Authorities such as UPF, UPM, Migration Services, Taxes and Quarantines to co-ordinate their efforts to help combat the use and distribution of drugs in Timor-Leste.
For more details, please see the following:
Executive Director of FM
Phone (+670) 7737-4222 or contact to (+670) 7756 1184