34-Year-Old Malaysian Pilot Arrested In Batam For Drug Offence
A Malaysian pilot was arrested for drug abuse in Batam, Indonesia on Saturday, 30 December 2017
He tested positive for crystal meth.
According to Jakarta Globe, the Malindo Air pilot was picked up during a random inspection at the Hang Nadim International Airport by Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN).
The authorities found 1.9 grams of crystal meth, a meth bong, and aluminium foil in the man's luggage.
The pilot, a 34-year-old Kelantanese man, is currently in custody at the BNN Riau Islands office. An Indonesian news site reported that the pilot was scheduled to fly from Batam to Subang on Sunday, 31 December 2018.
"The suspect was staying in Batam while waiting to fly to Subang around 11am on Sunday. The pilot has been handed over to Batam National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) for further action," Kompas.com reported.
This operation is part of Indonesia's efforts to curb drug abuse among airline employees.
BNN also conducted drug screenings on 69 air crew members of nine Indonesian flights, increasing the number of inspections, especially during holiday seasons.
Malindo Airlines is a Malaysian subsidiary of Indonesia's largest budget airline, Lion Air.
The low-cost airline stressed that it has zero tolerance for drug offences and conducts regular checks on its employees.
It was reported that a senior pilot in the employ of Lion Air was arrested in early December last year for using crystal meth at a hotel room in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
In June 2017, an Indian national, who's also a pilot with the airline, was nabbed for taking hashish, a potent form of cannabis, in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Responding to that, Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said that the ministry will work with BNN to curb drug abuse among pilots in the country.
"After this holiday season, I will work with BNN to monitor the lifestyle of pilots," he said, as reported by Jakarta Globe.