KOTA KINABALU - An international collaboration involving Sabah police and their Hong Kong counterparts resulted in the arrests of three men and a woman and the seizure of more than 6kg of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of about RM1.5mil (S$600,000).
One of them was detained at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2 before he boarded a 5.45am flight to Hong Kong on Saturday.
The two other men and a female companion were arrested upon their arrival on the same flight in Hong Kong after police there were alerted by their Malaysian counterparts.
All four were Malaysians and had arrived in Kota Kinabalu from Penang on Oct 25, said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib.
Hamza said police, with the help of Malaysia Airports auxiliary police personnel detained the 31-year-old man at the Terminal 2 departure hall and upon checking his body, found two packets strapped to each of his thighs.
He said the total weight of the substances recovered from the man was 2.124kg with a street value of RM500,000.
Also recovered from him was HK$1,000 (S$200) and 200 yuan (S$40).
Upon further investigations, Hamza said police discovered that the man's two accomplices had checked in earlier for the same flight.
This prompted Sabah police to alert their Bukit Aman counterparts, who in turn passed the information to the Hong Kong police.
He added that each of the men held in Hong Kong were also had two packets of substances strapped to their legs.
Hamza said the man arrested at airport here had been detained under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.
Police are trying to determine the origin and destination of the drugs.
"We believe Sabah was being used as a transshipment point and those carrying the drugs were mules," Hamza said.