JOHOR BARU, Sept 17 — The Johor police crippled a large-scale drug trafficking syndicate that had just started its operations about a month ago after arresting 10 of its members yesterday.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the operation, which started at 1.45pm, involved seven separate raids around the Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri districts.
He said the suspects arrested were locals consisting of eight men and two women, aged between 20 and 34.
“In the first raid, police detained a 30-year-old man with a substantial amount of illicit drugs before mounting six follow-up raids where nine other suspects were arrested.
“Following the series of raids, investigators seized 25.2 kilogrammes (kg) of heroin and 14kg of ecstasy powder, worth RM1.03 million,” said Ayob Khan in a media conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
Ayob Khan said police have also launched a manhunt for four more individuals who are still at large, including the syndicate’s alleged leader.
He said police knew their identities and were actively tracking down the wanted individuals.
On the drug seizure, Ayob Khan said the amount seized was believed to be able to supply a total of 172,666 addicts in the open market.
“The syndicate’s modus operandi was by renting luxury homes in fenced and guarded residential areas to be used as makeshift drug storage and processing laboratories.
“Initial investigations revealed that the syndicate supplied drugs for domestic use as well as abroad, especially to neighbouring countries,” he said.
Ayob Khan said investigators also confiscated chemicals and equipment used for drug processing, including four vehicles and three pieces of valuables worth a total of RM194,000.
He said based on checks, five of the suspects arrested have past criminal records related to drug cases and criminal activities.
“The suspects have been remanded for seven days and one will be investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, while the nine others will be investigated under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985,” he said.
From January 1 to September 15, the Johor police have arrested a total of 9,363 people for various drug-related offences and seized a total of 10.95 million tonnes of drugs worth RM352.45 million.