GEORGE TOWN - More than 150kg of drugs were seized and a drug syndicate crippled in a joint operation by Bukit Aman's Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (Sting) and Penang police last week.
Four suspects, including the syndicate mastermind, were arrested in the raid on a drug laboratory in a condominium here.
More drugs were also seized when the police teams raided a house later.
Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the syndicate was well-organised and supplied drugs throughout the country.
"We found over 152.3kg of heroin during the operation, which was enough to cater to almost 700,000 drug abusers," he said.
He said syndicates dealing in more than 100kg of drugs were considered big-time players.
"The syndicate we busted has been active for more than two years and the members are an experienced lot," he added.
In the bust on Thursday, the highly specialised Sting squad and a Penang Narcotics CID team led by its chief Supt Guan Beng Kang raided a condominium in Lorong Sungai Pinang that was used as a laboratory to produce heroin.
The four suspects, in their 30s and 50s, included the wife of the 57-year-old mastermind. Various chemicals, caffeine, apparatus and 104.2kg of heroin were seized.
The team then raided a house in Taman Tembaga, Jelutong, and seized 48.1kg of heroin and 2kg of methamphetamine.
Police have since frozen the bank accounts of the syndicate members which totalled RM373,890 (S$142,302) and seized RM46,326.20 in cash.
Five cars and a motorcycle worth RM372,500 have also been impounded.
SDCP Abdul Rahim said the mastermind was jailed between 1994 and 1998 under the Dangerous Drug (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985.
"The syndicate had packed the heroin with newspapers, making it look like packets of nasi kandar with each packet weighing about 0.45kg," he told a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters in Penang Road here yesterday.
Sting is an elite force set up by Bukit Aman in January last year to bust drug rings in the country.
Its responsibilities are to uncover kingpins, stop drug shipments through all entry and exit points and seize precursor substances (ingredients used for manufacturing drugs).