Busted over unpaid bill

Massive haul: Comm Ayob (right) showing the seized items during a press conference at the Perak police contingent headquarters. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

IPOH: A factory owner’s suspicions after his tenant failed to settle his electricity bill led police to a drug bust worth over RM111mil, believed to be the second biggest haul in the country.

The owner had complained to the police after suspecting something was amiss.

When the police raided the factory in the industrial area in Pusing near here, they found it had been turned into a ketamine lab.

Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said two tonnes of ketamine worth RM111.2mil were seized during the raid.

“This is the second biggest drug bust in the country after the one which took place early last year in Johor.

“Many factories were shut down during the movement control order due to the pandemic, and owners have been renting out their premises.

“Owners must be careful as to who their tenants are, and if they come across any suspicious activities, the police must be informed as soon as possible,” he said at the Perak police contingent headquarters here.

Three suspects – the person who rented the property, the agent supplying the drugs and the “cook” making the drugs, all aged between 28 and 40 – were arrested.

The raid on the factory and the subsequent arrests were carried out within less than a day between 1.30pm on Jan 13 and 5.45am on Jan 14.

“The syndicate is believed to have been actively processing the drugs at the factory since the middle of last year. The drugs seized could meet the consumption of 6.7 million addicts,” said Comm Ayob.

Also seized in the raids were six vehicles, gold jewellery and cash.

Two of those arrested, said Comm Ayob, tested positive for ketamine and a “benzo” type of drug and had criminal records involving drugs and other crimes.

“We are looking for three other people to help in the investigation,” he added.

These are Azrul Safuan Mohd Puaad, 28, whose last known address is at Taman Muhibbah, Batu Maung, in Penang; Mohamad Qaiyyum Mohamad Azhar, 23, from Kampung Sentosa in Taiping; and S. Patmanathan, 44, from Kampung Merapoh in Kuala Lipis, Pahang.

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