Thursday, November 17, 2011

Drugs at your feet

KLIA drug bust
BUSTED: Govinden (far right) showing the hidden syabu. The floor mats were sealed with blue carbon plastics

THE floor mats stuffed inside his backpack did not raise suspicion. But his movements about the KL International Airport (KLIA) did.

On Monday at 7.42am, KLIA Customs officers saw an Indian national suspiciously roaming about the airport's Passenger Terminal 1 Complex with a backpack. The man had just arrived from Delhi on a transit flight from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur.

KLIA Customs director, Datuk M. Govinden, said when officers screened the bag, they only saw three floor mats and clothes inside it.

"He was casually dressed and from his style, we thought he was on a day-visit to Malaysia."

The man, 34, began acting up when officers sought to open and check his bag.

"There were three floor mats. Nothing suspicious, but when we lifted one of the mats, it seemed heavy," said Govinden.

The floor mats were folded. Officers unfolded the mats before cutting them open with scissors. They found crystal white powder, syabu, hidden beneath the mats.

"We believe the mats were sealed by blue carbon plastic to conceal the 3kg of syabu worth RM750,000," Govinden said.

Initial investigation showed the suspect, who claimed to be a businessman, entered Malaysia seven times early this year.

"We believe he might be a mule for an international syndicate to smuggle drugs to this country," said Govinden.

The suspect has been remanded for seven days under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, which is punishable by death.

Govinden said day by day, global drug syndicates have tried to penetrate Malaysia using weirder methods, and the trend is not only worrying but threatening the country.

However, based on the many drug bust successes, Customs officers were confident syndicates would find it growingly difficulty to penetrate this country easily, he said.

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