KUALA LUMPUR - Drug syndicates expanding their distribution network have made their way into schools, turning students into their pushers.
These young dealers zero in on fellow students as their market, aside from making them their designated pushers for areas assigned to them.
The Home Ministry is pulling out all the stops to disrupt the distribution chain in its effort to shield young Malaysians from drug abuse.
The ministry revealed to the New Straits Times that it had identified triads directly involved in drug smuggling, manufacturing and distribution, and those targeting students to expand their target market.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said agencies under the ministry were working round the clock to arrest the drug problem -- from distribution to addiction -- including among the youth. This includes ramping up intelligence and enforcement operations.
"We have established that these triads are directly involved in the distribution of drugs in the country.
"Law enforcement agencies are working to combat the buying and selling of drugs, apart from providing treatment and rehabilitation for addicts," he said, adding that most of the 49 triads identified under the police's Op Cantas Khas were running drug-related businesses.
Zahid attributed the increasing number of drug abuse cases to the spike in violent crimes.
Records from authorities revealed that at least 84 per cent of criminals and gangsters arrested under Op Cantas Khas, launched on Aug 17, had a history of involvement in drug distribution and abuse.