KUALA LUMPUR - An Iranian man's lucrative drug-trafficking business here came to a "stinging" end, when his operation was smashed by the STING, or the Special Tactics and Intelligence Narcotics Group.
The 36-year-old drug kingpin came to Malaysia to obtain his PhD at a local university. But he later dropped out and instead went into the illegal drugs trade.
In 2011, the Iranian was arrested for trafficking, but he was released due to lack of evidence. He then continued his drug business, where he expanded the operations and roped in four Malaysians and six other Iranians who came here on student and tourist visas.
His operation was busted when police raided several places on Feb 6 and Feb 8, including luxury condominiums in Batu Caves, Cyberjaya and in Jalan Ipoh and Sungai Besi here, where the syndicate was operating their drug laboratories.
Federal Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) director Commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the police believe the syndicate was also working with Gang 04 members as one of those arrested in Batu Caves was found to be linked to them.
Those arrested were aged between 22 and 42.
"We believe the syndicate has been operating for more than six months, catering to the Klang Valley market. We believe there are more members out there.
"Our investigations are still ongoing," he told reporters in Bukit Aman yesterday.
He added that police also seized an assortment of drugs, including 11.3kg of crystal methamphetamine, 11.6kg liquid methamphetamine, 3.5kg heroin and 1,100 ecstasy pills worth more than RM3mil.
Police also seized RM213,308 (S$81,300) in cash from the syndicate.
"Initial investigations revealed that the syndicate has been operating its drug laboratories in luxury apartments in the Klang Valley to avoid detection.
"We believe the group mainly trafficked in syabu," he added.
On drug seizures in Malaysia, Comm Noor Rashid said the department seized RM10.44mil worth of drugs last month as well as arrested 17,760 people for drug offences.
"We also arrested another 56 people under the special preventive laws and seized RM4.93mil worth of assets," he said.