GEORGE TOWN: Penang police smashed an amphetamine pill (also known as ‘pil kuda’ or ‘yaba’ pill) trafficking syndicate and seized RM8.55 million worth of the illicit drug during multiple raids across the mainland last week.
The success came days after police smashed a drug smuggling and distribution syndicate and seized their largest haul of the year, confiscating more than 500kg of drugs worth RM26.1 million in an operation on Tuesday.
State police chief Datuk Seri A. Thaiveegan said in the latest raid, which was sparked by a tip-off, police inspected a car along Jalan Bagan Luar at about 4.30am on Aug 19. The inspection led to the discovery of 1,600 pills worth RM32,000 and the arrests of the five male passengers of the car.
He said an interrogation of the five led police to an apartment in Bukit Mertajam at about 8am on Aug 24, where they seized 72,000 pills worth RM1.44 million.
Thaiveegan added that police then traced two more men, believed to be the group’s accomplices, who led their raiding party to a store in Bandar Prai Jaya at about 7.20pm the following day. There, they found a whopping 354,000 pills worth RM7.08 million inside two bags.
“The total seizures amount to 427,600 yaba pills, with a street value of RM8.55 million.
“Altogether, seven men, including one who ‘behaves like a woman’, aged between 19 and 36, were detained.
State police chief Datuk Seri A. Thaiveegan (4th from right) said in the latest raid, which was sparked by a tip-off, police inspected a car along Jalan Bagan Luar at about 4.30am on Aug 19. The inspection led to the discovery of 1,600 pills worth RM32,000 and the arrests of the five male passengers of the car. Pic by NSTP/DANIAL SAAD
“Three of them are reportedly community college students and three others have drug-related criminal records,” he told newsmen at the state police contingent headquarters here today.
Thaiveegan said police believe the drugs were imported from neighbouring countries but could not ascertain if they were meant for the local market.
A source familiar with the investigation told the NSTP that the drugs were being kept in the state before being transported to a location outside Penang and were not meant to be sold here.
The first five men have been remanded until Aug 31, while the other two, until Sept 2, for further investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
It was reported that in an operation on Aug 21, police smashed an international drug ring and seized more than 500kg of drugs worth RM26.1 million.
The operation was conducted by a team from Bukit Aman’s Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department, with assistance from its Penang counterparts, the Narcotics Nucleus Secretariat (SNN), the Narcotics Suppression Bureau of Thailand, as well as the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).
It was found that Penang is being made a transit point for drug smuggling and distribution activities, before the drugs are sold on the local market or exported abroad.
However, Thaiveegan said that it would be unfair to label Penang as a “drug smuggling hub.”
“We are doing our best eradicate drug trafficking problems in the state,” he said.
On a separate matter, Thaiveegan said that the three stabbing murders on the island on Saturday night are considered ‘solved’ with the arrests of the suspected culprits the same day.
In the first case, in which a Myanmar man allegedly stabbed two men to death at Jalan Argyll, Thaiveegan said that police are still investigating the motive.
During initial interrogation, he said the Myanmar man claimed that he was unaware of what he was doing as he was high on drugs.
In the second case, in which a Thai woman allegedly stabbed her husband to death, Thaiveegan said the suspect has admitted to the offence.
“We consider that we have solved both cases. We have sufficient evidence that the suspects in custody are linked to the murders,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd