Major drug syndicate bust: Ringleader, 10 members to face prosecution in Kota Kinabalu

Major drug syndicate bust: Ringleader, 10 members to face prosecution in Kota Kinabalu

LABUAN: Eleven members of the largest drug syndicate in Sabah, including its alleged ringleader who has a Datuk title, will be prosecuted in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (intelligence and Operation) Deputy Director DCP Datuk Zainudin Ahmad said the Attorney-General’s Chambers has given the green light to prosecute the suspects concerned.

He said investigations into the syndicate, which evolved from contraband activities to becoming the largest drug network extending to the Philippines and Indonesia, have been concluded.

“We have sufficient grounds to bring the case to court, and permission to prosecute has been granted,“ he told a press conference after the Community Empowerment Workshop to Prevent Drug Abuse and Social Diversion at the Labuan Multipurpose Hall today.

He said all assets belonging to the identified syndicate members linked to drug-related activities have been confiscated.

Meanwhile, Zainudin said some districts in Sabah, such as Tawau and Semporna, have been identified as hotspots for drug activities due to their proximity to the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE).

The situation in Labuan is still under control, he added.

He said previous drug syndicates in Sabah used to source supplies from the Philippines, however, due to increased enforcement measures in the Philippines, the dynamics have shifted, and now drug supplies from Sabah are trafficked to the neighbouring country.

“The upcoming court proceedings mark a significant milestone in the fight against drug-related crime in the region, with authorities actively addressing the evolving challenges posed by such syndicates,” he said.

It was previously reported that more than RM7mil worth of assets belonging to a Sabah drug syndicate allegedly headed by an NGO patron, who is a Datuk, had been seized.

According to Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, the assets were seized under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.

He said since the arrests of the leader and its members on Dec 25, last year, police have seized various assets, among them 22 bank accounts containing RM420,000 that have been frozen, 18 luxury vehicles worth RM6.6mil, jewellery and wristwatches worth about RM100,000, and RM35,000 cash.

Police believe the NGO patron had been running the drug trafficking ring out of Sabah for over eight years.–Bernama


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