KANGAR, Jan 15 — Police scored a major drug bust with the seizure of 528 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, commonly known as syabu, valued at RM19 million, found hidden in a Federal Reserve Forest area in Padang Besar on Jan 10.
Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (JSJN) director, Datuk Seri Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said the discovery of the drugs in the forest reserve resulted from the investigation of a 35-year-old man who was arrested on the same date through police surveillance.
“Inspection of the storage area revealed 20 sacks containing 480 packets of Chinese tea ‘Guang Yin Wang’ placed on an iron trolley covered with branches and leaves.
“As a result of this operation, we successfully seized 528kg of methamphetamine (syabu) worth RM19 million,” he said at a press conference at the Perlis Police Contingent Headquarters (IPK), which was also attended by Perlis Police Chief Datuk Muhammad Abdul Halim.
Mohd Kamarudin said that following the arrest and seizure, three more men aged between 21 and 42 were arrested on the same date, suspected to be connected to the same case.
“The modus operandi used by these suspects, who are familiar with each other, is believed to involve using rat trails in the Federal Reserve Forest area. We believe they gradually collected these packages there before distributing them elsewhere.
“We believe they have been actively involved in this activity since last year. We are conducting an investigation and have found that several times they have been suspected of being involved in drug smuggling activities, and this is the latest one we have managed to uncover,” he said.
He said action was also taken under the Dangerous Drugs (Forfeiture of Property) Act 1988, with the police seizing assets, including four vehicles and seven motorcycles with estimated value at RM515,545.
He said the distance from the drug discovery area to the main road was about two kilometres, while the distance to the border from the area was about three kilometres.
Mohd Kamarudin said the total amount of drugs seized could be used by 2.6 million drug users.
He said all the suspects, who are self-employed, were remanded for seven days each starting from Jan 10 and 11, and the initial urine screening of two of the suspects tested positive for ketamine and methamphetamine.
“JSJN will continue the investigation to track down any remaining (suspected) individuals involved in this case. We will see if there are any other individuals involved directly and indirectly,” he said, also noting that the drug seizure is the largest in Perlis to date.
Meanwhile, Mohd Kamarudin said the police also successfully seized drugs, including liquid drugs, ketum leaves, and ketum juice, worth RM704.90 million throughout last year.
“A total of 273 syndicates were successfully dismantled, and 908 individuals were arrested by JSJN nationwide from January to December last year,” he said. — Bernama