Two Malaysians arrested in Hatyai after fruit truck found laden with drugs

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 29 Mar 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysians were arrested by Thai police in Hatyai, after the seizure of 700kg of syabu drugs in a fruit truck bound for Malaysia.

The two men were picked up by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) at a house in the southern border town of Hatyai, several hours after the lorry transporting pineapples and watermelons, was discovered in Chumphon, southern Thailand.

Bukit Aman Narcotics deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Kang Chez Chiang confirmed the arrests, saying that Malaysian police are closely following the case.

"We have got permission from our Thai counterparts to interview the two Malaysians, aged 35 and 49, who are being held in Thailand.

"Our close working relationship with our counterparts around the world allows us to do this whenever our citizens are arrested for being involved in the illicit drug trade," he said in an interview at Bukit Aman here on Thursday (March 29).

He added that the interviews are conducted to gather information on the drug syndicates, like their modus operadi and the syndicate members involved.

DCP Kang said the Malaysians were probably acting as middlemen who would have received the drugs to facilitate its storage and transit through Malaysia.

He added that the method of hiding drugs among fruits in lorries is not a new method that smugglers use to avoid detection at checkpoints.

In January this year, Thai police intercepted a lorry in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeast Thailand and discovered 300kg of syabu (also called ice or crystal meth) hidden among hundreds of watermelons inside a vehicle bound for southern Thailand.

From there, the NSB believed the drugs would be smuggled across the border into Malaysia.

In June last year, Thai authorities stopped a lorry transporting hundreds of durians in Hatyai and discovered 306kg of cannabis (ganja) hidden among the "King of Fruits," which they believed were bound for Malaysia.

The syndicates, according to officers, wanted to take advantage of the pungent durian smell to ward off close inspection from the authorities.

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