Hunt for drug kingpins

PETALING JAYA - With drugs being the main cause behind most crimes committed in the country, police are now focusing on hunting down drug kingpins.

Masterminds of local drug syndicates were among 6,142 drug traffickers detained between January and June this year.

Drugs seized from them were worth more than RM88mil (S$34.2 million).

The haul comprised both solid (504,131 pills) and liquid (9,575 litres) drugs weighing 3.15 tonnes.

Crime Prevention Department director Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the key to winning the war against drugs was to cut the supply from its source.

"Getting the kingpins is top priority besides widening the sweep of drug dealers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

"We are working closely with the Federal Narcotics Department to catch the 'sharks' and not just the small fry. Our strategy is working as we have recorded a few successes with seizures worth millions," he told The Star yesterday.

Comm Ayub said nabbing the big-time players would have the biggest impact on the drug market.

"We also want to change the false perception that police are in cahoots with the underworld, especially those linked to drug syndicates," he said.

The Star reported on Saturday that the spate of recent shootings in the country were mostly linked to revenge and turf wars by gangs to control drugs and illegal activities.

Comm Ayub said patrol units under the Crime Prevention Department was now mapping out crime hotspots, based on the types of crimes and frequency of occurrence.

He said this would enable police personnel to be strategically deployed to areas where they were most needed.

Police mobile patrol vehicles (MPVs) and Motorcycle Patrol (URB) Units are under the department.

Comm Ayub said curbing house break-ins was also high on the department's agenda.

He said the department, which now had 7,000 personnel, would focus on combating and preventing crime on land during its inaugural year, adding that the Marine unit and the Air Unit would also come under the department's purview soon.

He said the department was currently represented at state and district levels by deputy state police chiefs and deputy OCPDs, respectively.

"We aim to foster better relationships with all NGOs as well as members of society," he said.

Narcotics Department director Comm Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said tracking down the supply of drugs, including going after the drug lords, would indirectly reduce street crimes.

"As drug addicts are involved in street crimes such as snatch thefts, the smashing of drug rackets will result in fewer crimes," he said.