PASIR GUDANG - Malaysian police have busted an international drug ring in Johor and seized a record two tonnes of syabu or crystal methamphetamine that were packed to look like Chinese tea packets.
Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh, head of the federal police Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID), said on Friday (March 22) the seizure was worth RM103.2 million (S$34.25 million) and was the biggest in Malaysia so far, the Malay Mail reported.
The syndicate suspected to be behind the racket is believed to have been operating in Johor for some time, and runs distribution networks in countries including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, and Japan, Mr Mohamad said at a press conference at the Seri Alam district police headquarters.
"We arrested six local men, aged between 35 and 45, in three separate raids on March 19 between 7.30am and 10am at three separate locations in Taman Desa Cemerlang and Taman Pelangi Indah in Ulu Tiram," Mr Mohamad was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying.
"Initial investigations revealed that the syndicate brings in the drugs via sea routes and makes the country a transit point before they are distributed to the local and foreign markets.
Mr Mohamad added that the seized drugs were packaged into 2,000 Chinese tea packets and hidden in a container.
The authorities also seized seven vehicles, RM6,270 in cash, three watches and gold jewellery worth around RM489,000.
The suspects have been remanded until next Wednesday and the case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Mr Mohamad said the operation was made possible with the cooperation of three agencies: the police, the Customs Department, and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.