Factory fire smokes out illegal lab

JOHOR BARU: A fire that broke out at a factory in Desa Cemerlang industrial area here led to the discovery of a drug lab that had been hidden in the building for about a month.

State police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said that drugs worth RM5.06mil were seized from the laboratory that went up in flames at about 9.40pm on Jan 31.

“We received information from the Fire and Rescue Department about the laboratory that caught fire the same day.

“Following a raid at the factory, we arrested six men between the ages of 34 and 48, ” he said at a press conference at the Johor police headquarters yesterday.

He added that the laboratory, which is believed to have only been active for a month, could feed the addiction of some 660,000 individuals.

“The drugs seized include 30kg of ketamine worth about RM1.65mil, 100 litres of liquid, believed to be drugs, worth about RM3.3mil and 2kg of powder, believed to be drugs, worth about RM110,000, ” he said.

Comm Ayob added that police also seized RM1.34mil worth of items, including six cars, one motorcycle, two luxury watches, cash amounting to RM6,400, a variety of 15 gold items worth RM59,220, and six bank accounts holding a total of RM873,042.

“We believe that the laboratory is still in its early trial period, and had not been able to successfully produce the drugs for distribution.

“Five other suspects, including the mastermind of the laboratory, are still at large.

“We believe that the suspects who are still at large are businessmen who have been funding the laboratory’s activities, ” he said, adding that the wanted suspects, including a woman, were aged between 33 and 46.

Comm Ayob said the suspects arrested tested negative for drugs but five of them had criminal records.

“The suspects will be in remand for two days until Feb 7 (today), ” he said, adding that the case was being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952.

Comm Ayob added that police arrested some 1,235 suspects over drug-related crimes between Jan 1 and Feb 3 this year.

“We also seized 5.9 tonnes of drugs worth around RM329.53mil during the same period, ” he said.

On a separate matter, Comm Ayob said the remand period for some 17 suspects involved in a Macau scam syndicate was extended for another three days.

It was earlier reported that the police arrested 17 locals, including two women, for operating a “call centre” for the syndicate.

He said the suspects, aged between 22 and 33, were arrested during a raid in a house at Bandar Penawar, Kota Tinggi, at around 10.35am on Tuesday.

The suspects were remanded for four days until yesterday under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

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Crime , drugs lab , seized , fire


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