Malaysian police seize S$122m worth of assets from drug kingpin, arrest eight suspects

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A drug kingpin who operated in Malaysia and tried to smuggle a huge amount of black cocaine last year has had RM366 million (S$122 million) of his assets seized, police said on Tuesday (Jan 28).

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the assets were seized by central police headquarters at Bukit Aman in one fell swoop on Jan 16 at various locations in the country. He did not identify the nationality of the criminal kingpin.

Police launched "Operation Eagle Diamond" to target the drug lord's assets as the mastermind continues to elude capture following the RM2.4 billion black cocaine bust on Sept 10 last year at the North Butterworth Container Terminal.

"Among his assets were RM21.6million in a bank account, RM143.5 million in shares of various companies, various properties in Penang worth RM198 million.

"Among his properties were houses and a hotel in Penang," he told a press conference at a Bukit Aman Narcotic Crimes Investigation Department (NCID) event.

Tan Sri Abdul Hamid said police believe the kingpin is hiding from the law in a neighbouring country.

"At the time of raid last year, we believe he was already overseas," Mr Abdul Hamid said.

Other items seized were several vehicles worth a total of RM2.7 million as well as RM51,800 worth of jewellery, he added.

The seizure of the assets was conducted under Section 3 and Section 4 of the Dangerous Drug Act (Forfeiture of Assets), he added.

"Seizing the assets is important to further cripple the drug syndicate," he said.

Upon further investigation, police also raided a warehouse at Prai Industrial Estate in Seberang Prai, Penang and seized RM250,000 worth of drugs, including 4.89kg of syabu and 114kg of chemicals.

"We also arrested eight men, including five Myanmar nationals, believed to be part of the same syndicate responsible for the black cocaine.

"The suspects have been remanded until Jan 30 pending further investigations," Mr Abdul Hamid said.

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