PENANG: More than RM1mil of illicit narcotics including heroin and ketamine have been seized from 14 people including four women at various parts in the state since January.
The suspects, aged between 28 and 50, are liable to be charged with drug trafficking, an offence punishable with the mandatory death sentence.
The largest seizure was made on Jan 16 at a house in Lebuhraya Batu Lancang where 75kg of caffeine, 4.26kg of ketamine and 336gm of heroin were seized.
State police chief DCP Datuk Christopher Wan who said this added that investigations showed that the house was used as a laboratory to process the drugs.
“Ketamine, a type of animal tranquilliser, is being used as a club drug,” he said.
“In pill form, it is known as Special K or Ket and can cause delirium, amnesia, depression and long-term memory problems.
He said caffeine was one of the main ingredients for making heroin.
“The clandestine laboratory had only been in operation for a short while before it was busted by the police,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Other major successes this year, he said, included the recovery of an Italian-made Beretta pistol and the seizure of ganja and heroin weighing between 336gm and 1kg in Bukit Mertajam, Butterworth and George Town.
“Penang is still a major drug transit centre in the country and operations would be stepped up to check drug trafficking,” he said.
He said the number of arrests over the last two years recorded an increase.
A total of 10,731 people were rounded up for various drug offences in 2004 compared to 11,756 last year.
“This is an increase of 1,025 arrests or 9.55%,” he said.
“Since January there have already been 259 arrests comprising mostly drug addicts,” he added.
On another matter, DCP Wan said only six people were arrested in the state for letting off firecrackers during the 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations.
The six had been charged under the Explosives Act 1957. DCP Wan said police were sent to various places including markets to ensure that the banned items were not sold there.
He said 35 people were charged in court for letting off firecrackers last year.
Firecrackers, he said, were banned since 1966. He said only two types of firecrackers were allowed - the happy boom or magic pop and the pop pop.