Perlis: Smugglings of two tonnes of kratom leaves thwarted

This picture taken on December 25, 2018 shows Indonesian kratom grower Gusti Prabu displaying leaves of the plant at a farm in Pontianak. — AFP pic
This picture taken on December 25, 2018 shows Indonesian kratom grower Gusti Prabu displaying leaves of the plant at a farm in Pontianak. — AFP pic

PADANG BESAR, Dec 8 — The General Operations Force (GOF) has successfully seized two tonnes of kratom leaves (Mitragyna Speciosa) which were attempted to be smuggled into Thailand in six separate actions in Kedah/Perlis Op Wawasan on Dec 5 – 7.

GOF Northern Brigade commander, SAC Abdul Ghani Mohamad Ji said the first seizure of 14 gunny sacks containing kratom leaves weighing 510 kilogrammes (kg) worth RM RM76,500 last Thursday (Dec 5) took place at a rubber plantation near Felda Mata Air at 1.30 am.

He said the second seizure of 17 gunny sacks of kratom leaves weighing 510 kg and worth RM76,500 also took place on the same day in the Felcra Lubuk Sireh rubber plantation area here at 9.30 am.

He said GOF also detained a 24-year-old local man and seized a Toyota Harrier car which was used to cart the kratom leaves to a neignbouring country.

In the third seizure, also on the same day. he said GOF personnel seized 42 black plastic bags filled with 700 gm of kratom leaves worth RM105,000

The incident took place in the teak forest area in Felda Lubuk Sireh, Kaki Bukit near here at about 6.30pm. The kratom leaves were subsequently taken to the Padang Besar police station after a futile one-hour wait for the owner of the kratom leaves to claim them.

The fourth seizure last Friday (Dec 6), of a 28 kg gunny sack of kratom leaves worth RM4,200 and a Yamaha Nouvo with Thai registration numbers took place at the Padang Besar Business Arcade parking area at 11.09 pm.

‘‘The police team approached the area and introduced themselves to a group of men who fled leaving the kratom leaves there,’’ said Abdul Ghani in a statement, today.

A GOF team saw four men, whose nationalities were unknown, attempting to intrude into the KTJ PB 14 route area near the TNB 965 post at the Perlis-Thailand border fence area, on the same day at 10.35 pm.

Realising the presence of the policemen, they all fled but a 42-year-old man was nabbed after he was found lying under some bushes.

The police found a wire cutter after inspecting the suspect and he was taken to the Padang Besar police station for further action.

The fifth seizure yesterday (Dec 7) took place at 2 am when the GOF personnel were monitoring Kampong Kolam and found 19 white gunny sack and 20 black plastics containing kratom leaves weighing 570 kg and 330 kg, respectively, with a total value of RM135,000.

The sixth seizure, on the same day at 9.44 am, near the TNB 678 KTJ C-15 pole, when the GOF team was on patrol and spotted a group of men riding four motorcycles using the security road (which was only open for security forces personnel).

Abdul Ghani said they gave chase and managed to detain a local man, believed to be a smuggler.

He said the team conducted a search and found seven white gunny sack containing kratom leaves weighing 210 kg and four motorcycles of various types with Thai registration numbers, worth a total RM41,100, and all were taken to the Padang Besar police station for further action.

All the seized goods worth more than RM438,000 were handed over to the Padang Besar district police headquarters for further action and the cases was investigated under Section 30(3) of the Poisons Act 1952. — Bernama

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