MARANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian cops have made the biggest drug bust of the year, seizing more than 300kg of syabu worth about RM22million (S$7 million) following a series of raids in Terengganu, Selangor and Penang.
The drugs were packed inside Chinese tea packets and smuggled into the country from Thailand via the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu.
Police on Monday (Sept 25) busted the drug trafficking syndicate at Bukit Payung in Terengganu, Klang and Penang.
The raids were jointly conducted by the Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) and the Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (Sting).
Bukit Aman NCID director Mohmad Salleh said six suspects aged between 25 and 53 were also arrested.
"In the first raid, we arrested two suspects in Bukit Payung and seized 288.5kg of syabu stored in a lorry container followed by another suspect in Klang," said Datuk Seri Mohmad.
"Three other suspects were also detained in Penang and we seized 20.5kg of syabu. The drugs are estimated to worth about RM22mil," he said in his first press conference as NCID director on Thursday. He had taken over from his predecessor Commissioner Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff on Sept 15.
"We also seized more than RM260,000 worth of assets, including four vehicles, belonging to the syndicate. All suspects have been remanded for seven days," he added.
Commissioner Mohmad said the syndicate had been smuggling syabu from Thailand via Golok before being brought to Kelantan and Terengganu.
"From there, the drugs were transported to Kuala Lumpur and distributed to other states as well," he said.
"The drug syndicates are changing their modus operandi by using Kelantan as an entry point into Malaysia to avoid detection. Prior to this, they also used other routes, including Bukit Kayu Hitam," he said.
He added that the department was still in the midst of identifying the mastermind behind the racket.
"It is still in the early stages but our investigation will unearth more into the tactics of the syndicate. We are working closely with our Thai counterparts to ensure that drug smuggling across the Malaysian borders are stopped," he said.