Malaysia nabs suspect involved in trafficking drugs into Singapore via drone

Mr Azli is believed to be associated with four Singaporeans arrested for trafficking drugs by drone. PHOTO: CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police on Tuesday (June 23) arrested a Singaporean man known as "Boy Setan", suspected to be involved in trafficking drugs into Singapore via a drone.

Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay revealed on Monday (June 22) that Boy Setan (Devil Boy) is 40-year-old Mohamad Azli Ahmad Said.

Describing him as brazen, Datuk Ayob said Azli had allegedly flown a drone with drugs from Johor Baru city centre. Malaysian police did not disclose when he had done this or what drugs these were.

On Tuesday, the police chief told The Straits Times: "He has been arrested and will be interrogated."

A source with the police told ST that Azli was detained on Tuesday (June 23) at a condominium apartment in Johor Baru.

"He came here once in a while to smuggle drugs and went back (to Singapore), but with the recovery movement control order, his movement is limited," Mr Ayob had told reporters on Monday, referring to restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He added that this was the first time the Johor police had dealt with a trafficking case using a drone.

Azli has allegedly been in Malaysia for the past three months.

When met at her flat in Hougang on Tuesday, Azli's mother said she knew it was just a matter of time before he was arrested. He had been previously convicted for gang and drug-related offences.

"I never liked the name he went by," she said, giving her name only as Madam Zainab.

"I scolded him for carrying that name. I was always worried and I told him to stay away from trouble."

Madam Zainab, 62, told The Straits Times that Azli had sent her a text message just before Hari Raya this year on one of his numerous mobile phone numbers. She last saw him about a year ago.

ST understands that Azli was previously wanted by the Singapore authorities prior to his arrest in Johor Baru.

He is believed to be associated with four Singaporeans arrested by the Singapore police and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) last week, also for trafficking drugs by drone.

Two of them - aged 29 and 34 - were arrested last Wednesday (June 17) for suspected drug-related activities in which a drone was used to transport a bag of drugs from Johor Baru to Kranji.

Based on flight data retrieved from one of their phones, the suspects are believed to have flown the drone from Kranji to Johor Baru and back that day.

The drone returned with the bag of drugs, which included 278g of methamphetamine, also known as Ice.

CNB officers subsequently found 35g of Ice, 8g of heroin and 195 Ecstasy tablets in a car belonging to one of the men, which was parked near Kranji Reservoir Park.

In a follow-up operation last Thursday (June 18), CNB officers raided a private housing estate unit in Marne Road where a 40-year-old man was detained. Drugs as well as $13,230 in cash were found in the unit.

In total, the authorities seized drugs worth at least $44,000.

One former crystal meth trafficker who had met Azli in 1998 while in Reformative Training Centre said Azli had gang influence while in prison.

Around 2004, the man had met Azli again while in a State Courts lock-up.

"I knew him from prison and we casually asked each other what we were in court for," said the former meth trafficker who did not want to be named. "But I did not know he had connections to Malaysian drug traffickers because the people I used to get my drugs from are a small network. I was surprised when I saw the Malaysian wanted poster of 'Boy Setan'."

Madam Zainab said her son was released from prison three years ago and later got a job as a hotel banquet waiter.

"I really thought he had changed. He was religious and he seemed happy. But I think he wanted the easy life. Unfortunately, he did not heed my advice," she said.

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