Port Klang (The Star/ANN) - Customs officers in Selangor state of Malaysia have made one of the biggest drug busts in the country with the seizure of about three million illegal Eramin 5 pills estimated to be worth 58.28 million ringgit (US$18.32 million).
The drugs, kept in 620 packets, were stashed together with 202 sacks of chewing tobacco and 100 boxes of incense sticks.
They were discovered inside a cargo container that arrived in Westport from Hong Kong on June 23.
Customs deputy director-general (enforcement) Matrang Suhaili said the container, from India, did not reach its intended landing point of Hong Kong and was diverted to Port Klang for unknown reasons.
"When the container arrived here, it was left unclaimed for several days. Our department then received a tip-off that a drug syndicate had planned to change details on the container's documents before sending it to the recipient country.
"Our officers then brought the container to the Customs godown on June 30 for a thorough check," he told a press conference at the state Customs headquarters yesterday.
Matrang said that in a follow-up operation, the department detained three men in their 30s, and a married couple, all locals, on Friday.
"The couple from Penang, aged 32 and 41, are believed to be the main suspects who had arranged the transport of the container into Malaysia," he added.
All five suspects have been remanded for a week for investigations under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, Marine Department officers foiled an attempt by smugglers to bring in contraband cigarettes worth 91,728 ringgit ($28,836) with 300,000 ringgit ($94,309) in unpaid duties at nearby Tanjung Gabang in Port Klang last Wednesday.
No arrest was made.