Malaysia now a hub for manufacturing drugs, authorities say

A drug addict uses a glass water pipe to smoke syabu, or methamphetamine, at an undisclosed drug den in Manila June 20, 2016. — Reuters pic
A drug addict uses a glass water pipe to smoke syabu, or methamphetamine, at an undisclosed drug den in Manila June 20, 2016. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Following the discovery of an increasing number of illegal drug labs here, the National Anti-Drug agency (AADK) believes Malaysia is no longer just a transit point for drug traffickers but also a hub for local manufacturers.

“The syndicates now bring in ‘cooks’ from other parts of the world like Iran to produce high-quality drugs as locals do have the expertise to make them.

“This is the new trend that we see following several seizures in Penang and Nilai, Negri Sembilan. Apart from factories, they use lavish condominiums as labs to process drugs,” Malay daily Berita Harian quoted AADK’s director (enforcement) Zainuddin Abdullah as saying.

He reportedly said that syabu is the most popular drug in the market because it is easy to make, and its raw materials easily obtainable.

The news report said the total seizure for syabu last year was more than RM145 million as compared to heroin (RM49 million), ganja (RM4.5 million) and pills that were worth RM59 million.

In another news report, Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Professor Dr Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hassali said flu medicine and iodine were among the main ingredients used to make syabu.

The lecturer from the school of pharmaceutical sciences said they were easily available over the counter and did not require a doctor’s prescription.

“The flu medicine is then mixed with other substances such as diluents, solvents and catalysts... all popular ingredients found in nail polish, fertiliser, sulphuric acid and petrol that are easily available,” he was quoted saying.

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