Drug cartel charge widens

Day in court: Some of the alleged members of Geng Upik being escorted from the courtroom in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Two more people, including a woman, linked to what has been described as Sabah’s biggest drug cartel have been charged with being members of an organised criminal group at the Sessions Court here.

The duo, Norsyafilah Pawawoi, 28, and Zulkahar Dusing, 29, both said to be members of the group, dubbed Geng Upik, were both charged under Section 130V(1) of the Penal Code (Act 574) which is punishable under the same section yesterday.

Norsyafilah was accused of being a gang member here between 2015 and July 28, 2016 and Zulhakar between 2021 and May 3, 2023.

However, no plea was taken from either of the accused, who were not represented.

If convicted, the duo faces between five and 20 years behind bars.

Norsyafilah has been serving a 12-year jail term since 2018 for a drug trafficking offence, while Zulhakar is remanded in the east coast Tawau district.

Deputy public prosecutor Lina Hanini Ismail had applied for the court to set a date for a re-mention of the case for the submission of documents as well as case management to be transferred to the High Court for both accused.

Sessions Court Judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim subsequently set March 22 for the next hearing of the case.

On Jan 22, a Datuk, who is the patron of a non-governmental organisation, a franchise business owner, and two policemen were among 11 people charged over involvement with a criminal organisation linked to the Geng Upik drug cartel.

Pakat Sabah Malaysia patron Datuk Maslan Sani, 41; businessman Nelson Yee Yen Chung; former Tawau CID officer Insp Rahman Buriin, 44; and General Operations Force cop Sjn Jaisalfian Jaineh @ Zaini, 45, were charged under Section 130V (1) of the Penal Code with being members of the criminal organisation.

The others facing similar charges are Mohd Fauzie Rablin, 33; Shahlan Shah Abdul Samad, 37; Mohd Faridzul Asmahadi, 31; Fazrul Bahar, 32; Alkan Abraham, 35; Mazlan Mahmud, 41; and Mahathir Jibarail, 49.

No plea was recorded following the charges against the 11 men before Sessions Court judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim, who set March 1 for the case to be mentioned and for it to be transferred to the High Court.

All 11, said to be members of Geng Upik, were accused of being involved with organised crime at different times between early 2015 and Dec 24 last year.

The court had also set March 22 as the next date for mention.

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