Drug lab busted before it could start operations

Stamped out: Comm Ayob (second from left) looking at the items seized during the raids. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: A drug lab in a gated and guarded area has been busted by the police here before it could even begin its operation.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police have arrested 10 suspects and seized RM1.036mil worth of drugs in a special operation involving seven raids around Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri on Wednesday.

“We arrested a 30-year-old man and seized drugs and equipment used to process drugs during the first raid.

“Following the first arrest, we were able to conduct six more raids where nine more suspects, who are between the ages of 20 and 34, were arrested,” he said, adding that all suspects are Malaysians.

He said this in a press conference at the Johor police headquarters here yesterday.

Comm Ayob said the drugs seized, which included 25.2kg of heroin and 14kg of ecstasy powder, could feed the addiction of 172,666 people.

“The syndicate rented a house at a gated and guarded area to store and process the drugs.

“They have been active for about a month and were just starting to prepare for operations.

“However, we were able to uncover the drug lab and bust them before they could start processing and selling the drugs,” he said, adding that the police started investigating the syndicate about two months before busting them.

He said the drugs are believed to be for local distribution as well as to be sold in neighbouring countries.

“We have identified four more suspects, including the mastermind of the syndicate, who are still at large. Investigations are still ongoing to nab these suspects and others involved,” he added.

He noted that apart from the drugs, four cars, three gold items and equipment used to process the drugs were also seized during the raids, bringing the total value of seized items to RM1.23mil.

“One of the suspects is under remand for seven days, starting from Thursday to assist in investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

“Meanwhile, nine other suspects would have actions taken against them under the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) 1985,” he said.

On a separate matter, Comm Ayob also said that the chemical waste illegally dumped into a river at Kampung Baru Sri Aman in Kempas is believed to have been brought in from other locations.

“We believe that the lorries ferrying the chemical were from other locations. The matter is still under investigation.

“We will continue assisting the Department of Environment,” he added.

The Kampung Baru Sri Aman pollution incident occurred on Sept 14, which saw the evacuation of some 37 families.

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