(Update) Cops smash international drug ring in Penang, seize RM26 mil worth of narcotics

MUHAMMAD YUSRI MUZAMIR

GEORGE TOWN: Police smashed a drug smuggling and distribution syndicate and seized their largest haul of the year, taking more than 500 kilos (kg) of drugs worth RM26.1 million in an operation on Tuesday.

The operation was conducted by a team from Bukit Aman’s Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department with assistance from its Penang counterparts, Narcotics Nucleus Secretariat (SNN), Narcotics Suppression Bureau of Thailand, as well as the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

Federal Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department deputy director, Datuk Kang Chez Chiang, said the 6.15pm raid led police to 506 kg of syabu and 26,000 ecstasy pills at six separate locations in Penang.

Four men, aged between 35 and 59, who had criminal records for drugs and other offences, were also arrested.

They were believed to be syndicate members.

“We found 473 packets of Chinese tea packed with 506 kg of syabu. Thirteen other packets contained

26,000 ecstasy pills, believed to have been smuggled in from Golden Triangle countries using the Thailand - Malaysia route.

“The discovery has led us to believe that Penang was used as a transit point for drug smuggling and distribution activities, before the drugs are sold to the local market and exported internationally.

“We believe that the syndicate also exported the drugs to Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. They may also have exported drugs to Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea.

“The drugs were believed to have been sent via post, local and international courier services or cargo, via air, land and sea,” he told a press conference at the Penang contingent police headquarters.

Kang said three of the four suspects were arrested in a car in Bayan Baru. Police found 159 packets of drugs on them.

Two of them tested positive for drugs.

He said police also seized a Volkswagen car, a Proton Wira, a Proton Waja, jewellery and a watch, all valued at RM147,000 in total.

“The fourth suspect was detained in a another car at Jalan Lengkok Perak. We also raided two locations which were used to keep the drugs following the arrest of all four.

“We found 18 packets of syabu and 13 packets of ecstasy at a terrace house in Island Glades, Gelugor while 296 packets of syabu were found in another house in the same area. A search conducted in two other locations yielded negative results.

“All the suspects have been remanded for six days until Monday to assist investigations under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952,” he said.

Kang said police are also tracking down other syndicate members.


Federal Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department deputy director, Datuk Kang Chez Chiang, said the 6.15pm raid led police to 506 kilos (kg) of syabu and 26,000 ecstasy pills at six separate locations in Penang. (NSTP/MIKAIL ONG)

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