KUALA LUMPUR: Synthetic drugs are not only being brought into the country from Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, the forbidden substances are also being processed in local industrial areas.
The discovery was made following several police raids that found drug syndicates moving to isolated and remote industrial areas where Erimin 5 and syabu were being processed on a large scale.
Bukit Aman’s Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) acting director Datuk Kamarulzaman Mamat, said the syndicates would rent factories in remote and quiet industrial areas to carry out their activities.
One reason for synthetic drug manufacturers to move into industrial areas was the availability of chloroform, a vital ingredient, which could easily be obtained from neighbouring factories.
He added that police made a big breakthrough with the help of Thai authorities when they raided one of the largest drug processing factories in Penang and busted a syndicate making Erimin 5 pills, last year.
“This proves that the police are committed in combating drug-trafficking activities in the country and we have collaborated well with the foreign authorities,“ he said in an interview with Bernama and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), in Bukit Aman.
Commenting further, he said those operating the syndicates concealed their activities by using air filters to prevent the smell of acid from the drug-making process from being detected.
“The chemicals used to produce drugs will bring out an unpleasant odour ... so they (syndicates) use two air filters to eliminate the smell.”
“He then cited an example of a synthetic drug laboratory that was built next to a shrimp paste (belacan) factory just to prevent the smell of acid being emitted from being detected ... so the smell of shrimp paste was prevalent, not the acid,“ he said.
Kamarulzaman said police had raided 43 laboratories and synthetic drug processing plants from last year to early this month.
“There are also a handful of individuals who make synthetic drugs at home in small quantities ... this too was busted by NCID’s intelligence,“ he said.
In addition, he said the control at the nation’s entry points and certain areas were tightened to prevent drugs from being brought into the country.
“Our intelligence on drug production activities from the Golden Triangle, have also been enhanced and this is evident from the many drug raids carried out by the police.
“Therefore, the NCID will work with all parties to combat such activities,“ he said.
According to records, 71 tonnes of drugs estimated to be worth RM213 million were seized from early January to June 15. — Bernama