JOHOR BARU: Five men, including two foreigners and a businessman with a Datuk title, have been slapped with three charges for drug distribution at the Magistrate's Court in Pasir Gudang near here.
The accused - Datuk Loong Chan Yow, 46; Wong Fook Loy, 46; and Chai Choon Foo, 54 - nodded their heads after the charges were read out in Mandarin before Magistrate R. Salini on Monday (Dec 4).
However, the charges were not read out to the foreigners from Myanmar - Win Min Hliang, 30, and Kaung Myat Phyoe, 26 - as they do not understand either Malay, English or Mandarin.
No plea was recorded for all the accused.
According to the charge sheet, all the accused were found distributing 22.5kg of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) powder, 368g of MDMA pills and another 673g of MDMA powder.
The act was allegedly carried out at an unnumbered premise in Jalan Sagai 6 in Taman Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang, at 11am on Nov 27.
The charges, framed under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, carry the death penalty or life imprisonment with no fewer than 15 strokes of the cane upon conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Fatimah Mamu while all of the accused were represented by counsel Mohd Hamizi Mohd Yusof.
The court has set Jan 23 for mention pending the chemical report and the interpreter for the two Myanmar men.
On Nov 29, Johor police chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said that a businessman with a Datuk title was among five individuals arrested following a drug lab bust involving seizures worth some RM10mil in Pasir Gudang.
The suspects were arrested on Nov 27 and Nov 28 in three separate raids in Pasir Gudang and Johor Baru.