Syabu disguised as Chinese tea

KUALA LUMPUR - Their modus operandi was simple ­- foreigners fly in with syabu disguised as packets of Chinese tea and leave them at pre-arranged spots within the KL International Airport's arrival hall.

Two Malaysians, who would also fly back through the same airport, would then collect the bags.

Federal Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said an anonymous tip-off led to the arrest of two Malaysian men and the seizure of about RM8.5mil (S$3.3 million) worth of the drug on Wednesday.

"The two, aged 36 and 66, had just arrived and we caught them as they were about to pick up two bags," he told reporters at Bukit Aman yesterday.

"When we checked, we found 12 packets of Chinese tea that contained about 12.7kg of syabu," he said.

Comm Noor Rashid said that following interrogation of the suspects, it was learnt that the drugs were brought in from Myanmar by its nationals.

"We went back to KLIA on Thursday and found another two bags at the lost-and-found office. These bags contained another 34 Chinese tea packets with about 34.5kg of the drug," he said, adding that investigations revealed only a portion was meant for sale in Malaysia.

"The rest would be smuggled out of the country," he said.

Syabu is worth about RM180,00 a kilo in Malaysia, but the price doubles or even triples in other countries.

"We are now looking for two or three Myanmar nationals who brought in the drugs," said Comm Noor Rashid.

He said law enforcement authorities at various entry points into the country had been alerted.