MMEA seizes RM105.9 mil worth of drugs- the biggest haul in 13 years

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) scored its biggest drug haul in its 13 years of operations when it seized  2,118 kilogrammes (kg) of methamphetamine worth RM105.9 million and detained a man and a recreation boat, 5.3 nautical miles south of Pulau Kendi, near Teluk Kumbar on Wednesday (Dec 9).

Its director-general Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the agency detected the white and blue recreation boat with yellow lines which appeared suspicious, operated by the man, in Pulau Kendi waters at 11.30 am.

“MMEA’s patrol boat followed the boat closely before demanding he  stop but the suspect ignored the order and increased the boat’s speed before jumping into the sea after being chased for 30 minutes, while the boat sped off unmanned.

“MMEA enforcement officers later arrested the 26-year-old man before stopping the boat so as not to endanger other boats in the area,” he told a press conference, here, today.

He said upon inspection, 130 sacks containing 1,998 packets of China tea filled with methamphetamine weighing 2,118 kg, worth RM105.9 million, were found, believed to have been brought in from Indonesia.

Mohd Zubil said further investigations uncovered that the man played the role of picking up the drugs that had been loaded inside the boat in international waters and received payment between RM5,000 and RM10,000 for each trip of bringing in the drugs. 

“Our investigations also found that the unemployed man had came out from Sungai Juru with another boat and went towards international waters before changing his boat with the one containing the drugs, while his boat would be piloted by another party, which is part of the drug trafficking syndicate, believed to be brought back to the neighbouring country,” he said.

According to Mohd Zubil, the man admitted that this was his third time smuggling in the drugs, with the first and second time in October and November respectively, involving various types of drugs weighing 1,000 kg.

He said all seized drugs were believed to be distributed to the syndicate’s network including to be smuggled to Thailand, as the market price there was thrice the price in Malaysia.

“The syndicate’s modus operandi is to bring in the drugs by sea during the day time, supposedly to avoid being detected by MMEA because they thought our operations and patrols are only conducted at night.

“This success is also the biggest haul in 13 years of MMEA operations,” he said, adding that the man is now being remanded for seven days and the case is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.