Malaysia makes $18m drug bust

2012-07-09 12:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian custom authorities have seized $18m worth of illegal drugs from a shipping container from India in the country's biggest drugs bust in a decade, officials said on Monday.

Officials found just under 3 million nimetazepam pills stuffed in black plastic bags hidden among sacks of chewing tobacco and incense sticks, said Matrang Suhaili, custom's deputy director-general of enforcement.

The sedative, which is usually prescribed for insomnia or sleep disorders, is sometimes used to reduce the effect of methamphetamine and other stimulants. It is illegal in Malaysia.

The container landed in Hong Kong and was then loaded to another ship that arrived in Malaysia's Port Klang on 23 June, Matrang said. Customs officials, working on a tip-off, raided the container seven days later and discovered the pills.

Four Malaysians, including a woman, and a Bangladeshi man have been detained for investigations, he said.

Transshipment hub

"This is the biggest drug seizure in the last 10 years. We are in the process of tightening our laws to give us more power to audit ships and monitor the movement of cargo. We will also have advance information on ships 24 hours before they land at our ports," Matrang said.

Currently, customs officials only obtain ship documents after a vessel has landed. Matrang said he hoped the new laws could be enforced by late this year or early next year.

Malaysian officials are concerned that the country is becoming an easy transshipment hub for illegal cargo such as drugs or elephant tusks.

Excluding the latest haul, customs officials had made 67 drugs busts at the country's ports and airports this year, confiscating drugs worth $40m and putting 51 people on death row, Matrang said.

The death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking in Malaysia. Last year, custom officials seized $58m worth of drugs.

Read more on:    malaysia  |  narcotics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.