GEORGE TOWN - A man, believed to be a bombmaker, was arrested along with his girlfriend when police stormed a mini-lab processing Ecstasy in Taman Minamah, Nibong Tebal.
During the 11am raid at a rented house on Thursday, police recovered four homemade pipe bombs and a cocktail of drugs.
Also confiscated were two remote control toys, a transmitter, receiver, a power supply box, one mains switch, a soldering iron, eight shotgun 12-gauge shells, and a curved knife.
Penang police chief Comm Datuk Wira Chuah Ghee Lye said they believed the 34-year-old man knew how to make bombs.
"He told us that the explosives inside the 2.66m-long PVC pipe were made by him to protect his drug activities.
"We will investigate further. It's uncommon for us to find bombs during drug raids.
"We're taking this case very seriously.
"We will also investigate if the bombs were meant for other purposes," Comm Chuah told reporters at Penang police headquarters yesterday.
Comm Chuah added that the bombs were taken away by the bomb squad and would be destroyed in a controlled explosion next week.
The drugs seized were 18.35gm of ketamine, 12.65gm of heroin, 3.26gm of syabu, 24 Ecstasy pills, 1kg of caffeine, a mould for making pills, a digital scale, a hammer and a vise.
"We believe the couple used their unit to process low-grade Ecstasy pills for the local market.
"They have been active for about six months," he added.
Comm Chuah said both the suspected bombmaker, who is a divorcee, and his 42-year-old girlfriend, who is married to another man, were unemployed.
"The man has six previous criminal cases, including five for drugs while the woman has no criminal record.
"Both have been remanded," he said.