A drug syndicate’s attempt to evade detection by declaring drugs as coffee beans was foiled when 14 gunny sacks of drugs worth RM14.33 million were seized at the Tanjung Pelepas Port (PTP), Iskandar Puteri, on Oct 16.
Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department director Razarudin Husain said the drugs, weighing 398.28kg and hidden in a container, were discovered during a joint operation with the customs department.
He said the police were alerted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) about a container from Guatemala that was expected to pass through PTP before heading towards the Philippines, believed to be carrying methamphetamine.
Razarudin said police believed the syndicate was carrying out its smuggling activities using sea routes from a foreign country and making Malaysia a transit before smuggling the banned substances to a third country.
“Checks of the container found that out of the 100 gunny sacks declared as coffee beans, 14 of them containing drugs that could be used by 1.99 million addicts. This is the first such case that has occurred at the PTP,” he said at a press conference at the Johor contingent police headquarters today.
However, Razarudin said no arrests have been made so far. He said police are currently conducting further investigations, as well as waiting for more information from the PDEA for further action.
When asked to comment on the arrest of a Malaysian in connection with the seizure of 450kg of heroin worth RM431.8 million in Australia recently, he said the 38-year-old suspect was not a drug mule as he had been in the country for about a year.
Razarudin also said the investigation is ongoing, and that information provided by the Australian police could help the Malaysian police conduct a thorough investigation.
On Oct 17, the media reported that the police would continue to cooperate with Australia to conduct further investigations, following the arrest of a Malaysian man for trying to smuggle 450kg of heroin worth RM431.8 million into the country.
The man was charged at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court last Friday.