High sea drug ring runs aground

Syndicate sunk: Comm Mohd Shuhaily (right) and his team showing the fibreglass speedboat during a press conference at the Batu Uban marine police base in George Town. — KT GOH/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: After ruling the high seas with their speedboat since last year, luck finally ran aground for an international drug ring when six of its members were arrested in a series of raids in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

Penang police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the speedboat used by the gang was capable of covering long distances.

“The boat was equipped with spare tanks so that it could travel far without the need to refuel,” he told reporters at the Batu Uban marine police base yesterday.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said five foreigners and a local man, aged between 21 and 45, were detained during the operation conducted by the state Narcotic Criminal Investigation Department and the marine police on March 29 and 30.

“We seized 183.6kg of syabu worth RM6.09mil. We believe we have busted an international drug-trafficking syndicate,” he said.

The first raid was carried out at 6pm on March 29 at Juru Auto city, during which police found five black plastic blocks containing 178 packs of drugs believed to be syabu in a car.

“We also detained a foreigner during the raid,” he said.

Following the arrest, police apprehended two other foreign men believed to be syndicate members nearby.

“We then raided another location in Kuala Sungai Juru where we picked up another two foreigners and seized the boat worth about RM380,000,” he said.

“The confiscated drugs can be used by nine million addicts.”

On the morning of March 30, police conducted another raid at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, during which a local man was arrested.“We confiscated RM500,000 from the suspect,” he said, adding that the total seizure from the operation was RM8.319mil, including seven luxury vehicles.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said based on intelligence, the syndicate had been active since the middle of last year.

“Among the suspects are fishermen and labourers. Urine tests were negative for drugs. However, two have previous records for drugs and crime,” he said.

All the suspects have been remanded for seven days until April 5 for investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

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