KUALA LUMPUR: Police have identified the companies and persons linked to a syndicate involved in the recent smuggling of a shipment of over 300kg of heroin worth RM789.56mil from Malaysia into Australia, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
In a parliamentary written reply, the Home Minister said the police, through the Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (JSJN), conducted an investigation into the case involving 336kgs of drugs in a container through Port Klang to Brisbane, Australia, on March 13.
The investigation, he said, revealed that the consignment was dispatched on Feb 28 using cargo via a sea route from Malaysia.
It arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on March 13.
“Through the investigation, the police found the involvement of local syndicate members directly linked to the arrest in Australia.
“The police have also identified companies and individuals associated with the case, and further investigations are ongoing to determine the modus operandi and the involvement of the related delivery company,” he said.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (PN-Tanah Merah), who asked the Home Ministry about the measures taken in response to the drug smuggling incident in Australia, as the drugs were smuggled via a ship that departed from Malaysia through Westport Port.
Saifuddin also noted that authorities had taken several measures to address drug smuggling issues, including enhancing and expanding cooperation with international anti-drug agencies such as the Indonesian National Narcotics Board (BNN), the Central Narcotics Bureau Singapore (CNBS), the Brunei Narcotics Control Bureau (BKN), and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
This is done through the exchange and sharing of intelligence information to combat drug distribution and smuggling into or out of Malaysia, he said.
The ministry, added Saifuddin, would also strengthen cooperation among enforcement agencies such as the Customs Department, Immigration Department, National Anti-Drug Agency, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and other relevant agencies through the sharing of intelligence information and joint operations.
It would also enhance monitoring and enforcement at entry and exit points of the country, including international airports, border crossings, ports, and maritime areas, he said.
Other measures include improving the collection of intelligence information to combat high-profile drug distribution syndicates by obtaining quality information from the local community.
On April 14, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ordered a multi-agency investigation into the case.
Anwar stressed that it would be a major embarrassment if it was confirmed that the heroin haul, the second biggest in Australian history, indeed originated from a Malaysian port.
On April 10, Bukit Aman confirmed that the Australian Federal Police had seized 336kg of narcotics in Brisbane last month.
The drugs, worth an estimated RM789.56mil, were hidden within cement blocks in a container from Malaysia.
The Australian Associated Press reported on April 6 that the seizure was the second largest heroin haul in the country.