GOMBAK: A syndicate that raked in between three and 10 times more profit by trafficking drugs in Indonesia, where they command a much higher price, has been busted after more than six months in operation.
It is learnt that the syndicate, which dealt mainly in ecstasy pills and powder, even had a mini-laboratory at a condominium in the city with equipment that could produce more than 3,000 pills in an hour.
The traffickers often used illegal ports as well as courier services to smuggle drugs into various parts of Indonesia, including Aceh.
The Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) and Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING) put an end to the enterprise when they raided five locations in the Klang Valley, including a point on the Karak Highway, on Monday and arrested seven suspects including a 42-year-old man believed to be the syndicate’s mastermind.
Six other suspects detained were syndicate members, including the mastermind’s Vietnamese girlfriend.
Bukit Aman NCID deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Kang Chez Chiang said police also raided the syndicate’s drug lab, which appeared to be its main centre of operation.
“We seized 28.1kg of ecstasy powder, 1.6kg of syabu and 6,690 yaba pills worth RM4.5mil in the raids.
“We also seized equipment used to produce ecstasy and other drugs,” he told a press conference at the Gombak police district headquarters yesterday.
Among other items seized were more than RM140,000 cash, three luxury cars and jewellery belonging to syndicate members.
Indonesia was the destination of choice for the syndicate as the street value of its drugs, especially ecstasy, was a lot higher than in Malaysia.
“In parts of Indonesia, the drugs are worth three times more but in other locations, the price could be up to 10 times more than in Malaysia.
“Other than using illegal ports to smuggle their drugs, the syndicate would also pack the ecstasy powder into green tea packets in a bid to fool the authorities.
“However, our intelligence is always a step ahead of them,” he said.
The amount of drugs seized managed to prevent 140,000 addicts from getting their fix, DCP Kang added.
On another matter, he announced that the NCID has seized RM18.6mil worth of drugs between Jan 1 and Feb 5 this year and also arrested 16,976 people, including 2,729 traffickers.
“Of those arrested, 860 are foreigners.
“We also seized RM113.72mil in assets belonging to drug syndicates during the same period,” he said, thanking the public for their tremendous support in the war against drugs.
“We appreciate the assistance of the public as the war against drugs cannot be won without them.”