5 Taiwanese held in Malaysia drug bust

KUALA LUMPUR - Five Taiwanese are among eight men arrested at a drug laboratory where drugs worth some RM20mil were also seized.

Had police not busted this operation, the syndicate would have flooded the market with one million psychotropic pills.

Some of the suspects were in the midst of preparing a batch of drugs when police stormed their operation centre in Pandan Indah.

The suspects, aged between 26 and 41, were detained in five separate busts yesterday and on Tuesday following close collaboration between Bukit Aman Narcotics CID, the Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group and Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (Taiwan).

Bukit Aman Narcotics CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the men were detained between 1.30am and 5pm and he described the syndicate as "well-equipped".

On Monday, police arrested a 32-year-old man near the guard post of Setia Sky Residences at about 1.30am.

At the time of the arrest, the man was in his car and 10 boxes containing about 100,000 Erimin 5 pills were found in the backseat.

Following the discovery, police confiscated the man's access card to his unit.

In the condominium, police found 16 packs containing yellowish powder, believed to be drugs weighing about 8.24kg.

"His arrest led us to his residence nearby.

"We subsequently detained six more people at a laboratory and a store.

"They were caught red-handed processing the drugs at Pandan Indah before the last suspect was arrested at a different location," he told reporters at a press conference at the federal police headquarters yesterday.

Comm Mohd Mokhtar said among the drugs that were seized were Erimin 5 and cocaine with a combined weight of 207.8kg.

"We believe that the supply was meant for local consumption," he said.

Comm Mohd Mokhtar said checks on the foreigners found that they possessed valid travel documents.

"We are investigating when they entered Malaysia and how long they have been working with each other," he said.

The suspects are being remanded until next Tuesday.