Saturday, May 09, 2009

‘Datuk Syabu’ nabbed in RM254.3m bust

KUANTAN: The country’s biggest-ever syabu bust, with the drugs valued at RM254.3mil, by Pahang’s rank-and-file policemen took place by chance.

Subsequent follow-up operations saw the police detaining a 30-year-old ‘Datuk’ in Taman Bukit Kempas, Johor, on Wednesday and froze assets amounting to RM2.6mil belonging to four suspects.

Police have launched a manhunt for an accomplice, known as Lim Han Choo @ Ah Chiau, who was believed to have escaped after spraying pepper on the eyes of two police personnel during the first raid at about 6.45am on Saturday.

Bukit Aman deputy director of narcotics Deputy Comm Datuk Othman Harun said the success was a result of the alertness of the rank-and-file personnel.

“A policeman from the Cenderawasih station in Rompin had just completed a routine roadblock operation at the Kuantan-Segamat road when he spotted a lorry parked by the roadside.

“Sensing something amiss, he alighted with his colleagues from their vehicle to inspect the lorry bearing a Johor number plate. There were two persons inside.

“While directing them to open the cargo for inspection, one of the men suddenly sprayed pepper on the policemen before fleeing into a nearby oil palm estate,” he told a press conference. Also present were Pahang CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Robiah Abdul Ghani and state anti-narcotics chief Supt Yap Toon Khuan.

DCP Othman said police gave chase and managed to arrest one of them, who was the driver of the lorry.

He said checks showed the cargo contained 480 packets of crystalline and powdery substances, weighing 978kg, believed to be the synthetic drug syabu.

“We also seized 80 plastic containers used to hide the drugs, wrapped in black plastic bags.

“A follow-up operation saw police picking up two other suspects in a four-wheel-drive vehicle,” he said, adding that one of them was the elder brother of the driver who was detained earlier.

DCP Othman said a constable who arrested the two men was even offered RM10,000 initially, before they tried to tempt him with RM500,000 to secure their release.

He said initial investigations revealed the syndicate members had international links and had smuggled in the drugs via the South China Sea.

“We believe the supply came from a neighbouring country and the consignment was to be delivered to Johor for repackaging and distribution.”

The four suspects have been remanded to assist in investigations under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

In Taiping, RASLAN BAHAROM reports that police busted a mini-laboratory producing ecstasy pills and syabu at a house in Taman Simpang Setia, Simpang.

Taiping OCPD Asst Comm Raja Musa Raja Razak said a total of 3.2kg of the drugs, with a street value of about RM272,000 were seized during the 1.30am raid on Thursday.