GEORGE TOWN: Police made their biggest drug bust so far this year when RM2.4 billion worth of cocaine weighing 12 tonnes were seized from the cargo docks at the Butterworth wharf earlier this month.
On Sept 10, acting on a tip-off, officers from the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department swooped into the wharf area and managed to trace the cocaine which was concealed inside a shipment marked as coal stones.
The entire shipment weighed 60 tonnes but with the help of the police chemists and the use of a special device, the police managed to discover that 12 out of the 60 tonnes contained cocaine
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador told a press conference that the police now have in their possession a new technology to detect drugs which has been concealed with industrial-type items such as coal.
A local suspect, who tested positive for methamphetamine, was detained to assist in the investigation.
“We believe that we have crippled the activities of an international syndicate which had used Penang as a transit point to distribute the cocaine to other parts of the world,“ Abdul Hamid said.
He said that the cocaine had a street value of RM200,000 per kg.
The suspect who has since been remanded, will be investigated under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code as well as Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952 where the mandatory punishment is death.
Following the success of the narcotics division, Abdul Hamid said he has instructed the police to foster closer rapport with officers who have chemistry backgrounds as well as to apply the latest technology to screen cargo shipments.
“Nowadays, the drug peddlers are prone to using various ways to avoid detection by enforcement agencies,” he said.
“By concealing the cocaine inside coal stones, the police canine tracking units (K9) were unable to sniff out the drugs. But now we have the technology to nab those involved in such schemes.”