A fish story that didn't fly: Lorry driver and attendant nabbed for transporting ketum leaves


SEREMBAN: Police foiled an attempt to smuggle 345kg of ketum leaves, packed in polystyrene boxes and declared as fish, during an inspection at a roadblock near here early on Friday (June 25).

District police chief ACP Mohd Said Ibrahim said a 34-year-old lorry driver and his 26-year-old attendant were also detained at the roadblock near the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway at around 3am.

“Police on duty stopped the lorry and asked the driver for the relevant documents.

“The driver then produced a letter from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) which allowed him to transport essential items,” he told reporters.

ACP Mohd Said added that when police asked the driver what was in the boxes he was transporting, they were told it was fish.

The driver claimed that he was from Merbok in Kedah and was sending the consignment to Port Dickson.

“When we checked the boxes, we found that the contents were not fish as claimed by the driver.

“The driver and the attendant have not only misused the MITI letter but also violated the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within Infected Local Areas) Regulations,” he said.

ACP Mohd Said added that the duo would be investigated under Section 30(3) of the Poisons Act for possession of psychotropic substances.

He said police would also investigate who had ordered the ketum leaves, worth some RM10,350, as the driver claimed he was merely the transporter.

“We will probe where the ketum leaves came from and where the shipment was being taken.

“Also, we need to know if the driver had made similar trips and who were his clients,” he added.

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