Police Search Coca Plant at Bogor Botanical Garden after Drug Suspect’s Confession – Tempo.co English
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Bogor City Police Resort on Monday paid a visit to the Bogor Botanical Garden to conduct an inquiry related to a report suggesting there is a plant in the area that is used to produce drugs.
Police said the information came from a confession of a 51-year-old suspect who was arrested for exporting cocaine seeds overseas. The suspect said he grew at home the coca plant seeds that he found at the Bogor Botanical Garden and other public gardens.
This case bewildered the police as it goes against the pattern which usually sees the illegal drug smuggled from overseas. Bogor Police conducted an investigation together with the management of the public garden that is popular among local tourists.
“The Bogor Botanical Gardens only has Erythroxylum Novogranatense (South America) and Erythroxylum Cuneatum (local Indonesian), one tree each, similar to Erythroxylum coca,” said Bogor City Police Chief of Drug Unit Agus Susanto as quoted by Antara, Monday, August 8, 2022.
Agus explained that the history of the tree in the Bogor Botanical Gardens was the result of the exchange of seeds between the Bogor Botanical Gardens and the Belgian Congo Botanical Gardens in 1927.
In 1928, the seeds were planted and grown in the Bogor Botanical Gardens. Erythroxylum Novogranatense and Erythroxylum Cuneatum are linked with the Coca plant Erythroxylum which is a plant originating from South America and the basic ingredient of cocaine.
Erythroxylum Novogranatense plant has currently died, he explained, while the Indonesian Erythroxylum Cuneatum is still alive.
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