The latest tactic uncovered by the law enforcers saw an international drug syndicate exporting locally made products only to ship them back into the country on the pretext of the importing country having issues with the packaging of the cargo.
But the contents of the cargo were quietly changed.
Customs director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir said in the latest bust, his men seized 2.5 tonnes of goat and camel milk powder which had been mixed with ketamine worth an estimated RM100mil.
The drugs – its largest haul in terms of quantity and value this year – were found in a 6m container at Port Klang on June 4.
“The container had been shipped in from a South Asian country and its cargo was declared as goat and camel milk powder.
“Upon closer inspection, we found that the milk powder had been mixed with ketamine,” he told reporters at the Customs (narcotics) headquarters in Kampung Jijan.
The milk powder and the ketamine were packed separately in 25g sachets; each box contained 20 sachets.
Abdul Latif said the preliminary probe revealed that the milk powder was produced locally and had been exported to the South Asian country last December.
However, the cargo was shipped back to Malaysia, ostensibly because its packaging did not comply with the standards of the importer.
“We became suspicious because exported goods are usually sent back if they are of inferior quality.
“This was the first time that we came across cargo being shipped back because it did not meet the packaging standards of that importing country,” he said.
He added that it was a first for a syndicate to try to smuggle the drugs into the country using goat and camel milk powder sachets.
“Previously, the method was to put the drugs into tea sachets and packs,” he said.
A 55-year-old foreigner and a 40-year-old Malaysian woman have been detained to assist in investigation.
“We believe we have crippled an international syndicate and there may be more individuals involved,” he said, adding that the two suspects were business partners.
Abdul Latif said as part of its investigation, Customs would also be questioning the owners of the company that produced the milk powder, which had been operating for some time.
The case is being probed under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which provides for the death penalty or life imprisonment and caning upon conviction.
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