(Updated)

Ex-diplomat with 'Datuk' title arrested for allegedly planting marijuana trees released on bail

Ex-diplomat with 'Datuk' title arrested for allegedly planting marijuana trees released on bail
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BENTONG (May 28): A former Malaysian diplomat, who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly planting 100 marijuana trees and owned the farm around his home in Janda Baik near here, has been released on bail.

His lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed theedgemarkets.com that the 78-year-old, who is a "Datuk", was released on Saturday (May 28) and was on his way back from Bentong.

In a statement issued later, Shafee said the ex-diplomat — a former ambassador to Indonesia — was picked up by the police for allegedly cultivating cannabis in Janda Baik and that he was released after the police failed to obtain a second remand order for him.

"The former ambassador was arrested last Saturday after which he was remanded for the first time for a period of seven days. The police had sought to apply for a second remand for another seven days but this was not granted by Magistrate Shahrol Ekhsan.

“This follows that the magistrate was satisfied there was no evidence to implicate the former ambassador with any offences, among others,” Shafee said, adding that the remand application was conducted by investigating officer An Afifa Baharudin.

The arrest was made following a raid by the police which, according to reports, considered it the largest cannabis tree confiscation in Malaysian narcotics history as most raids involved cannabis trees planted in pots.

The arrest followed a joint effort by the Bukit Tinggi police station and the Bentong district police headquarters under Ops Tapis carried out at the ex-diplomat's residence.

The police reportedly found rows of cannabis trees planted around the residence and also a liquid container believed to be cannabis oil as well as dried cannabis leaves.

Following that, the ex-diplomat was arrested last Saturday. Previous reports said he tested negative for cannabis. However, his 53-year-old son, who was outstation, was said to have been arrested on Tuesday and tested positive for the drug.

Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf confirmed that it's the largest seizure of cannabis trees in Malaysian narcotics history, and that the plants — totalling 102 according to news reports — were said to be worth in excess of RM61,000, with each plant costing about RM600.

The police have classified the case under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for drug trafficking, and also Section 6B of the same Act which deals with restrictions on planting and cultivation of certain plants.

Tan Choe Choe