GEORGE TOWN: Smuggling drugs into the country, via cargo shipping, is becoming a trend among drug syndicates. State Narcotics Department chief Superintendent Guan Beng Kang said the smugglers, from other countries, would usually ship the drugs, declared as an innocuous item, to a local forwarding agent here.
“They would declare the drugs as another item, for example handbags, and ship it to a forwarding company, unaware that the shipment contains drugs. “A representative in the state will then collect it from the forwarding agent,” he said in a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.
Guan said this trend was becoming more evident, in light of the latest case involving drugs worth nearly RM8 million, which were seized last week.
In the Jan 13 incident, police received a tip-off that a cargo shipment, which arrived at the Penang International Airport, from an overseas destination after transit at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, was actually drugs and not handbags, as declared by the sender.
“Upon checking, we found that the cargo shipment of 10 brown boxes contained 526,800 Erimin 5 pills worth RM7.9 million.” He said police left the drugs at the cargo for one week to wait for the smuggler’s representative to come and collect the drugs. However, no one came to take it.
“We believe the pills were for local distribution in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. “We will investigate the case to nab the syndicate’s representative in the state while Bukit Aman will liaise with the overseas’ authorities to investigate the sender.” He said the case was being investigated for drug trafficking, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that the smuggler’s representative might had been tipped off that police had discovered the drugs, explaining the representative’s failure to collect the drugs.
The source also revealed that there was a possibility that similar drug shipments might have slipped past the country’s security in the past. He added that the current shipment was from a Asian country.