KUALA LUMPUR: Police arrested 25 people, including three Taiwanese businessmen and three Nepalis, in 15 simultaneous drug raids across three states on Saturday.
The raids raked up the biggest seizure this year of 88,000 tablets of Eramin 5 pills (Nimetazepam), worth RM43 million.
Federal Narcotics Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said that in the raids, police uncovered two drug labs and two stores in Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
“The suspects, aged between 24 and 60, and including two women, work in the Klang and mainland Penang drug processing labs,” said Noor Rashid at a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, yesterday.
Initial investigations, he said, revealed that the syndicate was headed by a local in his 40s and operated from its main drug laboratory, located behind an aluminum frame shop in an industrial area in Klang. A powder substance weighing about 283kg which can make 2.3 million Eramin 5 pills, was found at the laboratory.
Drug paraphernalia like a plastic sealer, a weighing machine and several containers containing drugs in plastic packets were also found.
Noor Rashid said that the raid was conducted after more than four months of surveillance on the syndicate. The raids resulted from a collaboration with the Special Branch, Taiwan’s Drug Enforcement Division and Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau.
“It is believed that the Taiwanese businessmen - in their 30s and 40s - chipped in with their expertise in processing the drugs to make the pills.
“We also believe that the ingredients were from Taiwan because some of the seized drug containers had a ‘Made in Taiwan’ label,”
Noor Rashid said most of those arrested were small-time drug pushers.
Several had previously been detained under the Criminal Prevention Ordinance at the Simpang Renggam Detention Centre for involvement in drug activity and other criminal cases.
The drugs are believed to have been made for both the local market and the Southeast Asian market.
Police also seized 12 vehicles, including Mercedez Benz and BMW cars belonging to syndicate members.
The suspects have been remanded until May 19 to facilitate investigations under Section 39B of Dangerous Drug Act 1952 which carries the mandatory death penalty.
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012 - 13:03
by Aizat Sharif
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