Malaysia police hunt Singapore man for smuggling drugs by drone

Methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy were among the controlled substances thought to have been smuggled.
PHOTO: Richard Robinson

Police in the Malaysian state of Johor are looking for a Singaporean man who allegedly smuggled drugs into the city state using a drone.

Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said 40-year-old Mohamad Azli Ahmad Said, alias “Boy Setan”, is also wanted in Singapore for drug offences.

“This is the first time that we have ever come across drug smugglers using drones to smuggle drugs between two locations,” he said on Monday, adding that the suspect is believed to be in Johor.

“Usually, if a drone weighs more than 20kg, they must get permission from the Department of Civil Aviation before flying. We believe this suspect used a small drone.”

The suspect apparently launched the drone from Dataran Bandaraya, Johor Bahru’s main city square, in the evening, Ayob said, urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward.

On Saturday, Bernama reported that two Singaporean men had been arrested for using a drone to smuggle drugs into Singapore from Malaysia, according to the Singapore Police Force and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).

The flight data retrieved from the phone of one of the suspects showed that the unmanned aircraft had flown from Kranji to Johor Bahru and back again to Kranji.

At 5.45pm on June 17, police detected unusual unmanned aircraft activity in the vicinity of Kranji Reservoir Park and observed an unmanned aircraft with a bag attached to it hovering in the air, the statement said.

Two men aged 29 and 34, believed to be the operators of the drone, were subsequently arrested.

An assortment of controlled drugs was found during a search of one of their cars, the CNB said.

In a follow-up operation the next day, a 24-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man, both Singaporeans, were also arrested.

“Investigations are ongoing,” it said in a statement, adding that the 29-year-old and 34-year-old men were charged on Friday with trafficking class A controlled drugs.

In total, about 389 grams of methamphetamine, eight grams of heroin, 195 ecstasy tablets and two nimetazepam tablets estimated to be worth at least $44,000 were seized.