Thursday, November 17, 2011

Smuggling of drugs amplified

KLIA drug bust
HIDDEN: Govinden (centre) showing the syabu packets stashed inside the amplifiers

WHEN a courier agent came to the Royal Customs Department Complex at KL International Airport (KLIA) last Saturday at 10pm to pick up three mid-size consignments, there wasn't a reason for the authorities to doubt anything.

Except, for the fact the man came in a Perodua Viva and not a lorry -- the common transport of choice for cargo pick-ups.

Suspicion further heightened when Customs officers found the packages, declared as megaphones on the consignment documents, to be heavier than what the cone-shaped horn used to amplify voices or sounds, should be.

The officers asked the agent to open one of the boxes. Inside was an amplifier.

Suspecting something amiss, Customs opened the amplifier to find five packets of syabu stashed inside its components.

KLIA Customs director, Datuk M. Govinden, said all the consignment boxes had amplifiers in them.

"Altogether, we found 14kg of syabu, worth RM3.5 million, evenly laid into 15 packets.

"The agent, 24, has been detained for investigation," he said.

Further investigation helped apprehend three more suspects in several areas of the Klang Valley.

The two office addresses on the consignment, in Petaling Jaya and Seri Kembangan, were also unoccupied.

"The consignment came from China. We believe the syndicate purposely stated the consignment as megaphones to evade tax," said Govinden.

He explained items, worth below RM500, were not liable to be declared, but for release of the items or parcels, one must include documents and invoice of the items.

The suspects, aged between 23 and 51, have been remanded until Saturday to facilitate investigations under Section 39B of Dangerous Drug Act 1952, which carries the death penalty.

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