GEORGE TOWN, May 17 — An international drug syndicate was busted when its tactic of smuggling drugs in coloured crayon for export via courier companies was exposed following a roadside arrest of a man here last Thursday.

North-east district police chief ACP Soffian Santong said the arrest of the 25-year-old man at 11.30pm proved to be the unravelling of the syndicate which had been operating since mid-2021 for the overseas market.

He said following the arrest, police raided a rented house in Lebuh Sungai Pinang here and seized syabu weighing 1.02kg as well as 77gm of ketamine worth RM48,636 and drug repackaging equipment.

“The syndicate repackaged syabu in crayon-colour sticks by cutting off the bottom of the crayon and filling it with seven gms of drugs in each stick. Each package of 48 sticks (of coloured crayons) is hiding 300g of drugs worth RM30,000 and is exported using a courier company. It is understood that if sold abroad, the price is more than double the market value here,” he told a press conference here today.

He said police also confiscated a RM34,000 car from the unemployed man who was drug-positive.

Meanwhile, Soffian said police also busted a mini-laboratory processing drugs and producing a mixture of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) in pre-mixed drink sachets after raiding a house in a two-day operation starting May 13 in Jelutong here.

“Police initially arrested a 36-year-old man before raiding a rented house used as a drug laboratory and we seized 3.32 kg of MDMA powder which was filled in 97 packets of three-in-one instant drinks such as coffee and tea and fruit juice.

“We also seized 67.43g of ketamine, syabu (18 g), eramin 5 pills (160 pills) and 24 ecstasy pills including MDMA worth RM180,860,” he said.

According to Soffian, the syndicate is involved in drug processing and distribution since March and efforts to dismantle the syndicate’s network are underway.

“We also confiscated a car worth RM31,000 and RM2,120 in cash from a man who was drug-positive with past records,” he said.

According to him, the unemployed man was remanded until May 18 to assist in investigations under Section 39B of the Penal Code. — Bernama