Honeymooners being used to smuggle drugs overseas

PETALING JAYA - Drug syndicates are now using honeymooners and this tactic was exposed when a Malaysian couple was held for smuggling 6kg of heroin into Taiwan.

The syndicates, believed to be run by Nigerians, are smuggling drugs, including heroin and syabu, from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport to other countries, especially Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Federal Narcotics Crime InvesĀ­tigation Department director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said strict security at the KL International Airport had forced the syndicate to move their operations to Sabah.

"The Nigerians are using Malaysians to smuggle drugs overseas. They are even using newlyweds on honeymoon," he said.

The syndicates, said Comm Noor Rashid, had previously used Vietnamese and Cambodians as drug mules but the authorities were onto their modus operandi.

He said the authorities had detained three Malaysians, including a couple from Sabah, for attempting to smuggle drugs into Taiwan.

It is believed that the husband and wife, who were detained at the Taiwanese airport on Oct 15, were from Penampang and Tawau.

"We received information about the smuggling activity and quickly informed our counterparts in Taiwan. The two were detained upon arrival at the airport," he said.

A third suspect, he added, was later detained at the airport.

Comm Noor Rashid said the couple, believed to have married in September, were still being held by the Taiwanese police.

"We are working with Taiwanese police to ascertain whether the honeymooners were part of a syndicate or just victims.

"The husband claimed that at a job interview, his prospective employer had promised to recruit him if he helped send a suitcase to someone in Taiwan," he said.