JOHOR BARU: A businessman, who is also a Datuk, was among five men charged with drug trafficking at the Magistrate’s Court here.
Datuk Loong Chan Yow, 46, Wong Fook Loy, 46, and Chai Choon Foo, 54, nodded after the charges were read to them in Mandarin before magistrate R. Salini.
However, the charges were not read out to two Myanmar men – Win Min Hliang, 30, and Kaung Myat Phyoe, 26 – as they could not understand either Malay, English or Mandarin.
No plea was recorded for all the accused.
According to the charge sheets, they are accused of trafficking 22.5kg of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) powder, 368g of MDMA pills and a further 673g of MDMA powder. (MDMA is used to produce Ecstasy pills).
The crime was allegedly committed at an unnumbered premises in Jalan Sagai 6 in Taman Pasir Putih, Pasir Gudang, at 11am on Nov 27.
The charge, framed under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, carries 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 the accused were represented by counsel Mohd Hamizi Mohd Yusof.
The court set Jan 23 for the next mention of the case while waiting for the chemist report and the language interpreter for the two Myanmar men.
On Nov 29, Johor police chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat was reported as saying that a businessman was among five individuals arrested following the bust of a drug lab and alcohol smuggling syndicate involving seizures worth some RM10mil in Pasir Gudang.