GEORGE TOWN: Penang's marine police have crippled a ketum juice syndicate with the arrest of a man and the seizure of 300kg of ketum leaves and 200 packs of ketum juice during a raid at Sungai Batu, Teluk Kumbar on Tuesday (May 25).
Marine police region 1 base commander Asst Comm Rosman Ismail said the suspect was arrested during an operation codenamed Ops Benteng Covid when police stumbled upon a double-storey house that was used to process large amounts of ketum meant to be supplied to the state.
"In the 7pm raid, police were inspecting the house when they saw a black plastic packaging containing 300kg of ketum leaves, 200 packs of ketum juice and equipment to process ketum," he said in a statement on Wednesday (May 26).
ACP Rosman said that police personnel then inspected a lorry that was believed to have been used by the man to ferry the contraband items to their customers.
ACP Rosman said the initial investigation found the suspect, a local man, admitted the house belonged to him and had been actively processing and supplying ketum juice for the whole state since early this year.
"The suspect gets his supply of ketum leaves from Jeniang, Kedah and a pack of ketum juice is sold at RM5 per pack.
"His monthly income can reach RM15,000 a month," he said.
ACP Rosman said all the confiscated items worth RM55,000 have been brought to the state marine police base for investigation.
He said the suspect had been remanded for four days beginning Wednesday (May 26) to facilitate the investigation under Section 30 of the Poison Act 1952.