Cops nab four restaurant workers selling 'high' tea

SUBANG JAYA, Malaysia - Four Thai restaurant workers in Persiaran Puchong Permai were nabbed by cops after they were found to be cooking more than just Tom Yum dishes, but making drinks out of ketum leaves there too.

Officers from the Subang Jaya narcotics department arrested the men, who are believed to have been cooking, packing and selling ketum water, during a raid at the premises at 9am Friday.

Subang Jaya OCPD ACP Yahaya Ramli said the men, who were employees of the restaurant, were detained at a sitting area behind the premises where they had another kitchen set up to make ketum water.

Police seized four big pots, a water filter, a gas tank, two kilograms of ketum leaves, cough medicine, and several bottles and plastic bags of various sizes containing 15 litres of ketum water.

"Initial investigations revealed that the ketum water would be sold to other foreigners in Puchong Permai, with one small packet priced at RM10 (S$3.91)," he said.

ACP Yahaya added that two of the Thai men arrested did not have any travel documents.

The suspects are being investigated under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 and Section 30(3) of the Poisons Act 1952.

If convicted under the DDA, the suspects face up to four years in jail and a maximum fine of RM10,000 or both.

If found guilty under the Poisons Act, they could be jailed for up to five-years and fined up to RM100,000 or both.

It was reported that the Government was in the process of gazetting a new law under the DDA so that ketum abusers could face a heftier punishment when tried under it.