JOHOR BARU: A local drug syndicate has been wrapping drugs as candies to smuggle into remand centres and overseas for over a year.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said that it was the latest brazen tactic in smuggling ganja into such centres.
“The syndicate, known as ‘Geng Halim’ used wrapping paper similar to those for candies and chocolates to smuggle ganja into detention centres.
“Once the detainees receive the 'candy', they will swallow it before taking it out through passing motion and distributing it among other detainees,” he said in a press conference held at the state police headquarters here on Tuesday (Aug 18).
Comm Ayob Khan added that the syndicate, which has been active since early 2019, was believed to receive their drug supply from Kuala Lumpur and also smuggled them in from Indonesia via Johor's west coast.
He said that police detained 23 suspects from 22 raids conducted around here, Iskandar Puteri, Pontian and Kota Tinggi from Aug 11 to Aug 17.
Comm Ayob Khan said 17 local men and four local women were nabbed along with an Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman. All were aged 31 to 50.
He also said that 19 of them tested positive for drugs, while 20 have previous criminal records including for drug offences.
“Police also seized more than 14kg of ganja, 6.8kg of heroin, 1.58kg of syabu, 44.31g of ketamine and 400 pills of yaba.
“We also seized 22 vehicles such as cars and motorcycles along with cash, a revolver with nine live bullets, jewellery, and froze three bank accounts believed to be used for drug smuggling activities,” he added.
Comm Ayob Khan said the total value of the seized items were worth more than RM720,000 and all of those being detained have been remanded for 14 days to assist with investigations.
In an unrelated case, he said police detained a 55-year-old female restaurant owner for allegedly putting the Malaysian flag upside down at her premise along Jalan Lee Ah Leng at Taman Nasib in Kluang.
Comm Ayob Khan added investigations showed that the premise has been wrongly putting up the Malaysian flag for two years before police received a report on the matter last Sunday (Aug 16).
“The restaurant has been in business since 2017, but since closed down in January this year.
“However, since there is public awareness on the matter, police have and will take action and I do remind business owners to be careful when putting up our national flag and please, do not give excuses claiming they do not understand or forgot,” he added.
Comm Ayob Khan said police have already recorded the suspect’s statement where she would be charged under Section 5 of the Emblem and Name Act (Improper Use) (Amendment) 2017.
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