Rise in drug dealing in Kuching housing estates

see-chee-howKUCHING: Residents and neighbourhood watch groups have expressed alarm at the rising number of illicit drug activities within and on the outskirts of Kuching.

Over the past few months, several youth gangs have been charged with drug trafficking. They were operating in the normally placid housing estates of the state’s capital.

Numerous complaints have been lodged by residents of Jalan Song and Rock Road. Reports have also been made about suspected drug dealing at the housing estates off Jalan Permata, Jalan Batu Bata and Lorong Pasir.

“Residents are alarmed by the increasing visits of strangers – using heavily tinted vehicles and motorcyclists with full-masked helmets – to their neighbourhoods,” PKR assemblyman See Chee How told the media here Friday.

See, who is Batu Lintang assemblyman, said residents reported seeing motorcyclists dropping and picking up small packets at junctions and grass verges outside residential houses.

He said he had received feedback from several neighbourhood watch groups that suspected drug dealers had moved to other areas after increased police patrol in their original territories.

“Earlier, such activities were frequent in the residential estates at Arang Road. However, with the vigilant residents’ neighbourhood watch groups reporting such activities to the police and with the stepped-up patrolling by police, the suspected illegal activities have dropped significantly.”

In June three persons, including two African nationals, were arrested and later charged with trafficking over 1.2kg of methamphetamine. They were operating out of the Jalan Canna area.

The same month, police arrested another methamphetamine trafficker at Jalan Song. He was caught with over 1kg of methamphetamine. Police also arrested a cannabis dealer at Taman Casa Merbella.

See called on residents to be vigilant and urged police to increase patrols, especially in the residential estates off Jalan Song and Rock Road.