Police cripple international drug syndicate's attempt to smuggle cocaine worth RM2.4 bil

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GEORGE TOWN (Sept 20): Police crippled an international drug smuggling syndicate by seizing 60 tonnes of charcoal containing about 12 tonnes of cocaine worth RM2.4 billion at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) on Sept 10.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the syndicate which brought the drugs from South America in three containers which had 60 sacks of charcoal was crippled in the Op Eagle operations conducted in Butterworth and Bayan Baru near here, and Padang Serai, Kedah.

“The syndicate used Malaysia as a transit before the drugs are sent to other countries,” he said.

Abdul Hamid said the syndicate tried to throw the authorities off with a new modus operandi where the drugs were mixed with charcoal to make it difficult to be tracked down using current technology and methods. Tracker dogs also failed to detect the drugs.

“However, with the hard work and experience of the members of the Chemistry Department, we were able to uncover the hidden cocaine. This is the biggest drug haul in the country,” he said in a press conference here today.

Abdul Hamid added that police have also arrested a local man, aged 29, who was responsible for handling the containers, to help in the investigations.

He said the man who was tested positive for methamphetamine has been remanded until Sept 23, and the case is being investigated under Section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code for further investigations under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.