MALAYSIA - Last September, when the police raided an apartment block in Muar, Johor, the kingpin managed to get away. But they arrested three people and seized 453kg of drugs.
The leader of the drug cartel had allegedly escaped to Batu Pahat, also in Johor.
In their effort to capture him, the police mounted a surveillance operation which lasted for 10 months, reported The Star.
On Tuesday night, the police's patience was finally rewarded when they scored the biggest drug bust in Malaysia, seizing more than a tonne of drugs.
And this time they ensured that the mastermind did not get away.
Police raided Taman Flora Height housing estate in Batu Pahat, seizing about RM33 million (S$13 million) worth of drugs.
Apart from various drugs, processing equipment were also seized. Three houses in the housing estate were being used as drug labs and storage areas, the report said.
Federal Narcotics Crime Investigation Department director Noor Rashid Ibrahim said they found drugs such as syabu, pure heroin, ecstasy and ketamine and caffeine, weighing a total of 1,156kg.
He said: "This is the biggest quantity of drugs seized in the country according to our records."
Police also seized RM1.83 million in cash from the three locations, weapons and seven vehicles.
Mr Noor Rashid said five people have been arrested under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
The suspects are four men and a woman from China, all aged between 24 and 52.
"We believe the leader managed to evade capture in Muar and escaped to Batu Pahat to set up operations again. This time, we managed to get him," said Mr Noor Rashid.
He said the drugs were believed to cater to the local market as well as for import to neighbouring countries.
Two men and a woman who were arrested in the September raid have been charged and face the mandatory death sentence.