Sarawak Customs intercepts RM1.22 mln worth of drugs disguised as tea, fish-printed packages at Kuching Int’l Airport

The drugs disguised as tea and hidden in packages with fish-printed images seized on Nov 3, 2023 at Kuching International Airport.

KUCHING, Nov 16: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) has foiled two attempts to smuggle 34.5 kilogrammes worth of methamphetamine valued at approximately RM1.22 million, concealed in ‘Guan Yi Wang’ tea and packages with printed fish images at Kuching International Airport (KIA) on Nov 3.

Customs Department Sarawak director Dr Ahmad Taufik Sulaiman said the first case involved an unclaimed piece of luggage, arriving on flight AK5210 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

A meticulous inspection by the Sarawak Narcotics Branch uncovered 20 packets of ‘Guan Yi Wang’ tea containing crystalline powder suspected to be illegal drugs in the form of methamphetamine or syabu, weighing about 20.336 kilogrammes with an estimated street value of RM727,200.

“Considering the total weight of the seized drugs, it is estimated that 101,600 people can be spared from the clutches of drug abuse.

“The Narcotics Branch of JKDM Sarawak is actively pursuing the owner who abandoned the luggage at the airport,” he said in a statement today.

In the second case, Ahmad Taufik said its Passenger Screening Special Unit detained two local men arriving on flight AK5228 from the Kuala Lumpur-Kuching sector after officers found positive signs of narcotics during scanning of two pieces of luggage.

Further inspection led to the discovery of 14 black packets with fish images containing crystalline powder suspected to be methamphetamine with an estimated weight of 14.178 kilogrammes and a street value of RM497,600.

“Considering the cumulative drug weight seized, approximately 70,890 lives can be safeguarded from the scourge of drug abuse.

“Initial investigations revealed that the two men engaged in luggage swapping, in which they were each carrying pieces of luggage that were not registered in their name. An identity check revealed that the 28-year-old native man was unemployed, while another 32-year-old Chinese man was employed as a ‘rider’,” he said.

The Kuching Magistrate’s Court issued a five-day remand order starting Nov 4 for the two men as part of the ongoing investigation.

Both cases are being pursued under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries severe penalties, including death or life imprisonment, and a minimum of 15 lashes if not sentenced to death.

Dr Ahmad Taufik disclosed that from January to October this year, JKDM Sarawak has seized a staggering 212,446 kilogrammes of various drugs valued at RM4,655,854.

He urged the public to collaborate by reporting any smuggling activities to the Customs Toll-Free Line 1-800-88-8855 or visiting the nearest Customs Office, assuring confidentiality for whistleblowers. — DayakDaily