Syndicate hiding drugs in vehicles

Secret stash: Comm Ayob showing where the drugs were stored inside the toolbox compartment of a tow truck at the Johor police headquarters. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: A drug syndicate has taken to storing narcotics inside compartments of vehicles to escape from being charged with drug possession.

“It is harder to pin them down because the owners of the vehicles can be different compared to seizing drugs from a house, ” Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said.

“This syndicate just became active this month and their modus operandi was to store drugs inside the vehicles before sending them to Indonesia to be sold at the market there, ” he told reporters at the Johor police headquarters here yesterday.

Four men were arrested and drugs worth RM1mil were seized during raids conducted in Muar and Johor Baru on Dec 26 and Dec 27 by the Marine Police Region II and Johor Police Contingent Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID).

“We found the drugs stored inside the toolbox compartment of a tow truck in the first raid and the rest inside the spare tyre compartment of a CRV in the second raid.

“We confiscated 23.9kg of syabu worth RM1mil, three litres of ketum juice worth RM60 and 480g ketum leaves worth RM4.80, ” he said.

The value of all the seized items, including the vehicles, came up to RM1.1mil.

Comm Ayob said the suspects were local men, aged between 30 and 41, who had been involved as the transporter and storage keeper in delivering drugs to Indonesia via boat.

The syndicate, he added, also had a side business of selling ketum juice to the local market.

All suspects, who tested positive for methamphetamine, are currently under remand for seven days starting Dec 27.

The case is being investigated under Section 15(1)(a) and Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act and Section 30(3) of the Poison Act.

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