KUALA LUMPUR: Three individuals with the titles "Tan Sri" and "Datuk", who have been suspected of being the masterminds of drug cartels in the nation, are hiding behind legitimate businesses such as hotels, shipping and transport companies, says Bukit Aman.
According to Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Razarudin Husain, the legitimate businesses owned by the three individuals are designed to mask their main activities, which are trafficking cocaine overseas.
"They are not using personnel in their legitimate businesses for drug trafficking to prevent any leakage of information.
"They have other personnel assigned specifically for their drug trafficking businesses, from importing the drugs, storing it and selling it overseas," he said when contacted on Sunday (Feb 28).
The NCID is currently gathering information and sufficient evidence from syndicate members who have been detained previously before making arrests, he added.
"In fact, we have detained a few key players of the syndicates in previous operations involving Bukit Aman, state contingents and district headquarters nationwide," he said.
Comm Razarudin said it is vital for his teams to gather enough evidence before arrests could be made on the three masterminds to ensure that they are dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
"Rest assured, they will be brought to justice when all clear evidence has been gathered showing their involvement in drug trafficking," he said.
Initial intelligence indicated that the henchmen for the Tan Sri and Datuk will manage the delivery of drugs to Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia using air cargo and shipment, Comm Razarudin said.
"We believe the seizure of RM2.4bil worth of cocaine at the Butterworth cargo terminal in Penang on Sept 10,2019, is connected to the Tan Sri and Datuk," he added.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had said the NCID is in the process of taking action against the drug lords who were found living in luxury by using their legitimate businesses as a cover for their illegal activities, thus making it difficult for the police to obtain information that could link them to drug trafficking activities.
"I will make sure that these people will be put behind bars. Although I know they are (with the titles) 'Datuk', or even 'Tan Sri', we will expose their irresponsible acts and bring them to justice, or at least place them under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959," he said.