Kedah Customs seizes nearly 200kg of drugs in Malaysia's biggest bust this year

BUKIT KAYU HITAM (The Star/Asia News Network) - The Kedah Customs Department has made what is believed to be the biggest drug haul so far this year with the seizure of 198kg of assorted drugs with an estimated street value of RM18.3 million (S$5.93 million).

Customs deputy director-general Datuk Zulkifli Yahya said a team of officers from the Vehicles Inspection Branch and Enforcement Unit foiled an attempt to smuggle the drugs into the country on Tuesday (May 23).

"They stopped a white Proton Iswara driven by a 26-year-old Malaysian at the inspection lane of the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex here," Zulkifli told a press conference at the complex on Friday (May 26).

"The driver of the car was ordered to open the boot for inspection.

"The boot of the car was covered with plywood and what looked like a speaker and audio system.

"Through gaps in the plywood, the officers spotted suspicious objects."

Upon closer inspection, the officers found a number of square yellow slabs, black plastic packets and green bags, he said.

The driver and his car with the seized drugs inside were brought back to the Bukit Kayu Hitam's Customs Enforcement Office for further inspection, Zulkifli added.

The officers recovered a total of 154kg of heroin, 38kg of methamphetamine and 6kg of ketamine from the car.

According to Zulkifli, the driver's travel documents showed that he travelled frequently to a neighbouring country.

"Another local man, aged 36, was arrested in Alor Setar later. He is believed to be from the same syndicate. Both men have been remanded until June 5 for further investigations," he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries a mandatory death sentence by hanging upon conviction.

Zulkifli said the seizure was the biggest for Kedah Customs and the biggest in the country so far this year.