GEORGE TOWN: Police intercepted a luxury multipurpose vehicle (MPV) believed to be transporting 309kg of freshly landed marijuana to be distributed in Penang, Perak and the Klang Valley.
The drugs – 313 slabs wrapped in 15 black plastic packages – were believed to have just arrived from a neighbouring country by sea.
The drugs had a market value of about RMRM772,500.
Federal Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department deputy director Deputy Comm Zainudin Ahmad said the MPV was intercepted in Juru on mainland Penang at 9.15pm last Tuesday.
“The driver, a male Thai national, was arrested. He is the owner of a tom yam restaurant here and has lived in Malaysia for the last five years.
“Further investigations led to several other raids and the arrest of
11 individuals, including the mastermind, and the seizure of 495g of methamphetamine, ” he said at a press conference at the Penang police contingent headquarters here yesterday.DCP Zainudin said police conducted nine raids simultaneously in Taiping, Perak; Kupang, Kedah; and various locations in Penang’s Central Seberang Prai district on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cash amounting to RM65,090 and 15 vehicles worth about RM1.5mil were seized during the raids.
DCP Zainudin said eight of the suspects had previous drug and criminal records, and four tested positive for methamphetamine and two positive for marijuana.
He added that the syndicate was believed to have been operating for some time and was only detected recently.
He said the syndicate used fibre or fishermen’s boats to smuggle the drugs, allegedly from Satun, Thailand, to Penang or Kedah.
“Our investigation also found that it is harvesting season in Thailand now, and the syndicate is believed to have taken advantage of that to smuggle the processed drugs with rice to avoid being detected by the authorities, ” he said.