Lorry driver promised RM6,000 to smuggle ketum leaves

23 Nov 2020 / 22:01 H.

GERIK: At a rate of RM4 per kg — or for RM6,000 in total — a lorry driver was willing to risk arrest for smuggling ketum leaves from Kedah to Kelantan.

Gerik district police chief, Supt Zulkifli Mahmood, said the 34-year-old was caught on Saturday (Nov 21) at around 11.55pm during a police roadblock at KM9 of the Gerik-Jeli East-West Highway (near Sungai Lebey) for trying to smuggle 1.5 tonnes (or 150 sacks) of ketum leaves worth RM45,000.

“The man was arrested after he was unable to provide a list of the things he was transporting in his five-tonne lorry.

“Investigations revealed that it was his first time being involved in the activity and that he was using a vehicle belonging to a syndicate which has been in operation since December,” said Zulkifli during a press conference today.

He said the suspect with no prior criminal record is on remand till Nov 25 and the that case is being investigated under Section 30 (3) of the Poisons Act 1952.

He said the modus operandi of the syndicate is to travel from Kelantan to a village in Sik, Kedah in the morning to pick up the sacks of ketum leaves and then return to the east coast at night.

“The current market value for ketum leaves in the east coast is RM30 per kg,” said Zulkifli, while adding that the syndicate thought they could get away with it by using a commercial vehicle. — Bernama

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