KUALA LUMPUR - Police seized RM18mil (S$7 million) worth of drugs in a series of raids in what is believed to be the largest drug bust of the year.
Five men, one of whom is a Singaporean, were arrested in the raids in Selangor and Malacca on Tuesday.
Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said police caught wind of the syndicate early this year.
"Utilising our Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING), we watched them and studied their methods for a while before moving in.
"The first raid was around 8.30pm at the basement car park of a mall in USJ (in Subang Jaya) where we arrested two men including the foreigner," he said at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman here yesterday.
Both men were in the middle of transferring drugs between two cars when they are arrested.
"Three sacks full of white powder, believed to be syabu, weighing about 75kg were found in the boot of the cars," he said.
Following the arrests, police apprehended another syndicate member in the mall.
Comm Noor Rashid said the information gathered from the three led police to raid a house in Ayer Keroh, Malacca, arresting two men.
"We also raided a shophouse in Taman Merdeka Permai, Malacca, which served as the group's storage premises," he said, adding that police found some 49.7kg worth of drugs there.
Comm Noor Rashid said the total street value of the drugs was estimated to be around RM18mil.
"We also seized RM20,000 in cash in the first raid," he said.
Comm Noor Rashid said the syndicate had been smuggling the drugs into the country by hiding them in shipping containers.
"We believe the drugs came from different parts of the world, including Africa, Afghanistan and India.
"The quality of the drugs is quite low compared to the ones originating from Iran, which has a higher purity rate," he said.
Police believe the drugs were for the local and regional market.
Comm Noor Rashid said the five detained, aged between 21 and 58, would be remanded for seven days.
"We are still looking for remaining members of the syndicate," he said.