Indonesia’s anti-drug chief wants ghosts as prison guards

Frustrated by rampant drug trade in prisons, Indonesia’s anti-drugs chief has suggested that jails be guarded by ghosts because they cannot be bribed, reports said Wednesday. 

Budi Waseso, the head of the National Narcotics Agency, said 50 per cent of drug trade was controlled by drug dealers from behind bars, the online edition of the newspaper Media Indonesia reported.

“Ghosts cannot be bribed, probably costing only incense,” he was quoted as saying, in apparent tongue-in-cheek remarks.

In 2015, Budi suggested that the government build a prison on an island guarded by crocodiles to hold drug convicts to prevent them from escaping.

Last week, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered police to shoot drug dealers if they resisted arrest, in remarks that drew comparison to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs.

“Let us be firm, especially to foreign drug traffickers entering the country,” Jokowi said.

“If they resist, even a little, just shoot them,” he added. “There should be no mercy.”

His remarks came after the national police chief, Tito Karnavian, said that shooting suspected drug traffickers had proven to be an effective deterrent.

Indonesia imposes tough penalties for drug offences.

Since Jokowi took office in 2014, Indonesia has executed 18 people for drug trafficking, defying international calls for mercy.

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