GEORGE TOWN: Police in Penang have busted a drug smuggling syndicate that has been active since early this year, seizing drugs worth RM398,352 and arresting three of its members.
Penang Narcotics Crime Investigations Department chief Asst Comm Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah said his team busted a laboratory processing ecstasy pills in Penang during the operation.
“We conducted a series of raids and investigations on July 1 and 2 and managed to arrest three men and a woman from China, aged from 29 to 42 years old.
“The drugs seized amounted to RM398,352. Jewellery and a car worth RM28,340 were also confiscated in the raids.
“On July 1, at around 5pm, a team of police from the Narcotics Crime Investigations Department arrested a 29-year-old durian seller in front of a double storey house in Sungai Pinang and found Erimin-5 pills, MDMA powder, ketamine, cannabis and ecstasy pills.
“In a follow-up operation, the police arrested two men, aged 39 and 42 years old, respectively, in a car along Perak Road and found Erimin-5 pills in the vehicle.
“The police then went to a three-storey house in Bukit Gambir, Gelugor, and managed to arrest a 32-year-old woman from China.
“We managed to find Erimin-5 pills, cannabis, MDMA powder and ecstasy pills in the kitchen of the house.
“We also seized a machine and equipment to process ecstasy pills,” he said in a press conference at the state police headquarters in Penang Road Saturday (July 3).
ACP Mustafa revealed that the 29-year-old suspect has no previous crime or drug record and tested negative for drugs
“The second suspect, a 39-year-old caterer, tested positive for drugs and had a criminal record with previous drug and crime-related offences.
“The third suspect is a 42-year-old antique collector. He is believed to be the mastermind of the syndicate.
“He has a previous drug record and also tested positive for drugs.
“The final suspect is a 32-year-old unemployed woman from China. She has no previous criminal record and tested negative for drugs,” he said.
ACP Mustafa said in total 1,470 Erimin-5 pills, 6.219kg MDMA powder, methamphetamine (23g), ketamine (1.5g) and cannabis (11g) were seized.
“The drugs can cater to 22,347 addicts in the local market.
“The case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
“They will be remanded for five days until July 7 to assist in investigations,” he said.