‘Drug lords using legitimate fronts’


KUALA LUMPUR: Three individuals with the titles “Tan Sri” and “Datuk”, suspected to be masterminds of drug cartels in Malaysia, are hiding behind legitimate businesses such as shipping and transport companies and hotels, according to Bukit Aman.

Federal police Narcotic Crime Investigation Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Razarudin Husain said legitimate businesses owned by the three individuals are aimed at masking their main activities, which involve the trafficking of cocaine overseas.

“To prevent information leaks, they do not use personnel within their legitimate businesses to carry out drug trafficking activities.

“They have other workers assigned specifically for their drug-trafficking business, from importing the drugs to storing and selling them overseas, ” he said when contacted yesterday.

The NCID is now gathering information and evidence from syndicate members, who had previously been detained before the police arrested the three people with the Tan Sri and Datuk titles.

“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 was vital for his teams to gather enough evidence before arrests could be made on the three masterminds to ensure they were dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

“They will be brought to justice when all evidence have been gathered that can prove their involvement in drug trafficking, ” he said.

Initial intelligence gathered indicates that henchmen for the Tan Sri and Datuk would manage the delivery of drugs to Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia using air cargo and ships.

“We believe the seizure of cocaine worth RM2.4bil at the Butterworth cargo terminal in Penang on Sept 10,2019 is connected to the Tan Sri and Datuk, ” said Comm Razarudin.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador on Saturday said the police had identified several key masterminds of drug-trafficking syndicates in the country who are hiding behind their “Tan Sri” and “Datuk” titles.

Abdul Hamid had said the NCID was in the process of taking action against the drug lords who were found living in luxury by using their legitimate business 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 are put behind bars. Although I know they are ‘Datuk’, or even ‘Tan Sri’, but we will expose their irresponsible acts and bring them to justice, or at least place them under the Prevention of Crime Act, ” the IGP said.

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