Kedah cops nab seven, seize drugs worth more than RM18mil in jungle raids

ALOR SETAR: Kedah police have detained seven men comprising five Thais and two locals, and seized more than 108kg of drugs worth over RM18mil in three vehicles.

The seven were nabbed in a series of operations conducted on Nov 25 and 26 in the Padang Terap district and a few locations inside the security area near the Malaysia-Thailand border.

Kedah police chief Comm Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said the two-day operations involved the Kedah Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID), Kedah Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Padang Terap NCID, Battalion 3 of the the Bidor General Operations Force (GOF) and the Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing.

"At about 8pm On Nov 25, police personnel investigated a car parked by the side of Jalan Padang Senai with two Thai nationals, both 28, inside.

"A search uncovered about 108kg of drugs believed to be heroin in the boot, with a street value of about RM18mil.

"The duo were detained and have been remanded for seven days from until Dec 2," Comm Hasanuddin said Friday (Nov 27), adding that preliminary investigations show that the drugs were meant to be distributed in Malaysia.

Further interrogation of the suspects led to follow-up raids on Thursday in Hutan Situlang, Padang Terap, with the assistance of the GOF, he added.

"In the 6am raid, a blue 4WD vehicle was found in the area and a 32-year-old local man from Changlun and a 48-year-old Thai national from Yala, Southern Thailand, were detained.

"A search of the vehicle found 7.75kg of marijuana, worth about RM20,000," Comm Hasanuddin said.

"In another raid at 10.30am, a 37-year-old local man from Kuala Nerang and a 36-year-old Thai national from Songkhla, Southern Thailand, were detained.

"A search of their vehicles revealed a Savage Model 69 Series shotgun, a 39cm parang and 9.3g of syabu and 5.18g of 'pil kuda', worth about RM1,450," he added.

According to Comm Hasanuddin, the final raid was carried out at 3pm in the same area where a 28-year-old Thai national from Pattani who had been acting suspiciously was arrested.

"There were many makeshift canvas tents in the area and it was probably used as a transit point for smugglers and smuggled goods from the neighbouring country," he said, adding that it was in a forest reserve close to the border.

Also present at the press conference were Kedah NCID chief Asst Comm Mohd Zaki Ashar, GOF Battalion 3 (Senoi Praaq) commanding officer Supt Rosman Kasman, Training Officer Asst Supt Amri Aripin and Padang Terap OCPD Deputy Supt Mulkiaman Manzar and other officers.

Comm Hasanuddin said all the suspects arrested in Hutan Situlang tested positive for methamphetamine.

According to ACP Zaki, the drug seizure would be investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

"The shotgun seizure, meanwhile, will be investigated under Section 8 of Firearms Act 1960," he added.

ACP Zaki also said investigations would be made to determine if the detained Thai nationals had entered the country legally or not.

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