ARAU: A total of 1113kg of ketum leaves worth RM33,390 were seized from smugglers in two separate operations near the Malaysia-Thailand border.
GOF Northern Brigade commander Senior Asst Comm Abdul Ghani Mohamad Ji said in the first operation, 400kg of ketum leaves were seized during an integrated operation dubbed as Ops Benteng Covid on Friday (Jan 22).
"Based on information gathered on ketum leaf smuggling activities at the border, 13 intelligence officers and personnel from the Kuala Perlis Malaysian Border Security Agency (Aksem), Kuala Kedah Marine Police (PPM) Region One and Battalion 18 General Operation Force (GOF) went to Kampung Seberang Alor, Kuala Perlis at about 2:15am, ” he said.
"Arriving at the scene, they saw a suspicious car was unlocked in the area and the car key was still in the ignition," added SAC Abdul Ghani in a statement on Sunday (Jan 24).
SAC Abdul Ghani said that when the car was checked by police personnel, black bags stuffed with green leaves were found.
He added that the raiding party waited and observed the area for about an hour to see if there was anyone who came to the car.
SAC Abdul Ghani said that no one came and added that a further inspection found that the bags contained 400kg of ketum leaves in 40 black rubbish bags.
He said the contraband seized was worth RM12,000 and the car worth RM35,000 was also seized during the operation.
SAC Abdul Ghani then added that in another operation at 1.30am on Sunday, a team of police personnel stumbled upon a group of men roaming suspiciously in a bushy area at Jalan Keselamatan Padang Besar near the Malaysia-Thailand borders during their routine Ops Benteng Covid patrol.
"Realising that their movements have been detected by police, the suspect managed to escape to another jungle are nearby," he said, adding that police then conducted an inspection of the area after suspecting the group of men attempted to conduct smuggling activities.
SAC Abdul Ghani added that during the operation, police personnel found 23 white sacks which were covered by black plastic bags hidden in the bush.
He said the sacks contained green leaves believed to be ketum leaves weighing about 713kg and worth RM21,390.
Both cases have been classified under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952.
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