Chemistry ace turns drug lord

GEORGE TOWN - A man said to have vast knowledge in chemistry was nabbed for allegedly running a drug processing lab at an apartment unit in Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth.

Police seized various types of drugs worth RM60,000 (S$19,645), a car and RM1,288 cash from him during the 10.30pm raid on Sunday.

Among the drugs recovered were 3.038kg of heroin, 6.8gm of syabu, 11kg of caffeine and chemicals meant for drug processing.

Penang Narcotics chief Supt Guan Beng Kang said police moved in on the 48-year-old man following a public tip-off.

"We conducted a body search on him when he walked out from the lift near his apartment unit.

"We found a small amount of syabu on him. It then led us to a bigger seizure at his apartment unit and his car," he said during a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.

Supt Guan said police found heroin, syabu and an electronic weighing machine inside the house. They recovered a larger amount of drugs and two bottles of liquid acid from his car.

"Initial investigations show that the man is good in chemistry. But he chose to put his knowledge in drug processing and drug distribution.

"We believe he had been actively involved in drug trafficking for six months. The drugs are meant to be distributed in the northern region," he said.

Supt Guan said the man would be remanded until Saturday to assist in the probe, adding that the case is being investigated under Section 39B (1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.