JOHOR BARU, Dec 29 — The police crippled an international drug-smuggling syndicate with the arrest of four men and seizure of drugs worth RM107 million in separate raids in Muar and Johor Baru last weekend.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects arrested in the raids on Saturday and Sunday were locals aged between 30 and 41.
He said the police seized 23.93 kilogrammes of syabu (crystal methamphetamine) worth RM1.07 million as well as three litres of ketum water and 480 grams of ketum leaves in the special operation.
“The Region Two (Southern Region) Marine Police Force (PPM), the Johor Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) and Muar district police conducted the special operation and successfully crippled the international drug-smuggling syndicate.
“The four suspects acted as the syndicate’s runners and also the caretakers of the drugs before they were smuggled out to Indonesia by sea,” said Ayob Khan during a press conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
Ayob Khan said investigators found that the syndicate was hiding drugs in the storage area of a tow truck and bonnet of a Honda CR-V sports utility vehicle (SUV).
He said that the syndicate, which has been active for the past month, used the modus operandi to mask their activities from being detected by the authorities before transferring the drugs to a boat to be sent to neighbouring countries.
“The drugs are believed to be enough to sustain the habit of 239,250 drug addicts in Indonesia,” he said, adding that the vehicles and equipment involved were also seized by police.
Ayob Khan added that all the suspects had also tested positive for methamphetamine abuse and did not have any previous criminal records.
He said the suspects have been remanded for seven days until January 2 next year for investigation.
The case is being investigated under Section 39B and Section (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952.