GEORGE TOWN, Nov 15 — Police busted a drug trafficking syndicate with international links following the arrest of 12 individuals and the seizure of 865.7 kilogrammes of cannabis worth RM2.16 million in a series of raids carried out in Penang and Kedah, on Friday.
Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) director Datuk Razarudin Husain said police launched the special operations from 12.15am to 6.30am and raided eight locations in two states before detaining 12 individuals, including three Bangladeshi men and a Loatian woman, aged 22 to 58.
In the first raid, the police arrested two men in the Sungai Nibong area, and an inspection on the car they were travelling in found 250 slabs of compressed cannabis believed to have just been obtained from the syndicate to be sent to buyers.
“Following the arrest, police detained another man in Sungai Nibong who then led the authorities to a boat repair workshop in Simpang Ampat, Seberang Perai Selatan. A search on a fibre boat found 622 slabs of cannabis hidden there,” he said at a press conference here today.
He said during the raid at the workshop, the police arrested three Bangladeshi men.
Razarudin said police later raided a premises in Jitra, Kedah and arrested a 56-year-old man, believed to be the mastermind of the drug trafficking syndicate, before arresting a Laotian woman, in her 40s, in Bedong, Kedah.
“Police later detained four other men around the state who were fishermen and members of the syndicate for their role in smuggling in the drugs by sea while fishing to avoid being detected by the authorities,” he said.
Police also seized six vehicles of various brands including BMW, Isuzu Dmax, Perodua Myvi and Honda City as well as a 10-metre fibre boat, boat engine and cash. All seized items estimated to be worth RM280,752.
“Three of those arrested have previous records involving criminal and drug cases while four men tested positive for drugs. All detainees have been remanded for seven days to assist in the investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952,” he said.
He said the increase in cannabis seizures, especially during the movement control order (MCO), was due to the dumping of the drugs in in the golden triangle area and international drug trafficking syndicates switched their modus operandi by using fibre boats or fishermen to smuggle in the drugs in large quantities compared to land routes. — Bernama