GEORGE TOWN, April 2 — Police seized almost RM1 million worth of drugs and fake herbal tea during a raid on an illegal drug laboratory in a shophouse in Simpang Ampat, Seberang Perai

Penang police chief Datuk T. Narenasagaran said in the operation last Thursday, police had arrested a 60-year-old man who then led the state narcotics team to the laboratory.

“The man, believed to be part of the drug processing syndicate, led us to the double-storey shophouse that was used as a drug processing laboratory where we found heroin and drug processing paraphernalia,” he told a press conference at the state police headquarters here.

He said a 40-year-old man from Myanmar, who was at the premises during the raid, was also arrested.

“We seized 383g of heroin base, 6.17kg of heroin and 25kg of caffeine from the premises,” he said.

Other items seized included two glass bottles containing chloroform and 112 packets containing 337.3kg of mitragynine.

“The total worth of drugs seized is RM167,100,” he said.

The police also found 1,760 boxes of fake herbal tea that allegedly contained ginseng.

“Based on our initial investigations, each box of fake herbal tea was sold online at RM428 per box and this tea is not sold in supermarkets,” he said.

Due to the high pricing for the tea, he said the boxes of tea seized will be sent for chemical analysis as it may contain illegal substances.

“The total worth of herbal tea seized was at around RM753,000,” he said.

Narenasagaran said three vehicles belonging to the drug syndicate were also seized.

“We seized a Hyundai Tucson, Mercedes Benz and Suzuki Swift along with cash totalling RM34,400,” he said.

He added that police has also sealed a bank account with cash totalling RM442,227 that belonged to the syndicate members.

“The 60-year-old suspect, who is Malaysian, has two previous drug records and we believe the syndicate has been operating in the premises for the past six months,” he said.

He said the syndicate was believed to be supplying drugs to the local market.

Both suspects will be remanded until April 4.