Cops warn of syndicate amid rise in drug mules arrested overseas

Acting Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department chief DCP Kamarulzaman Mamat (third from right) shows how syndicates strap drugs to Malaysians who then carry them overseas. With him is Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Risikin Satiman (second from right).

SUBANG: Police today warned of a syndicate believed to be involved in duping Malaysians into becoming drug mules, amid a growing number of individuals being arrested overseas for attempting to smuggle drugs.

Acting Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department chief DCP Kamarulzaman Mamat said six operations within the country, notably at airports, had found that Malaysians are acting as drug mules to smuggle drugs to countries like South Korea or Thailand.

The syndicate is believed to be an international outfit based in South Africa.

“The modus operandi begins with the syndicate making an offer on Facebook, using the promise of lucrative returns. After an agreement is reached, a connection is established through WeChat.

“They are subsequently required to come to Kuala Lumpur and are placed at a hotel. Several members of the syndicate will then pay a visit with the drugs, which will either be strapped to the body or to the luggage.

“They will then be taken to the airport with the drugs, where they will fly to the country where the drugs are meant to be sold,” he told a press conference here.

Kamarulzaman warned families to be vigilant, especially in the use of social media by youth whom he said are easily influenced into carrying out such tasks.

He said police have also increased their surveillance at all entry points in the country.

He said the value of syabu in countries such as South Korea can be up to RM8.1 million.

He cited a case on May 18 where a Malaysian couple, aged 47 and 31, were detained at the Wattay International Airport for attempting to smuggle some 24kg of syabu to the Philippines in their luggage.

The 119 compressed blocks of methamphetamine seized in a raid yesterday morning. The raid also saw the arrests of two men.

They were believed to have been duped by the syndicate through an attractive tourism package on social media.

They are currently being investigated by Laotian authorities.

At the same press conference, Kamarulzaman said the police had busted a locally masterminded drug syndicate trafficking methamphetamine from a neighbouring country to Malaysia, following a raid which saw the arrests of two men.

Their arrests at a car park in a mall here yesterday also led to the seizure of 119 compressed blocks of methamphetamine weighing approximately 121.23kg, valued at RM243,000.

Kamarulzaman said the men arrested were between 28 and 33 years of age and had no criminal record.

“The drugs seized were meant for local consumption.

“We have arrested two syndicate members and are in the midst of tracking down others,” he said.

Kamarulzaman said the drugs were found in the passenger seat and boot of a Toyota Vios, which was also seized along with a motorcycle and RM1,100 in cash.

The duo have been remanded for seven days to assist in investigations.