Drug labs now operating in remote locations

SHAH ALAM, 8 Nov 2019:

Local drug syndicates have moved their drug processing laboratories to the rural areas in a bid to avoid detection by the authorities, said Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) director Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd.

He said police detected this trend when conducting operations against drug syndicates this year.

“This year alone police have uncovered 19 drug processing laboratories throughout the country, and there seems to be an increase in the number of labs smashed in the rural areas.

“For example, the drug lab that was crippled in Meru, Klang, last month…it was located far away from town, near a village,” he said at the Selangor police contingent headquarters here yesterday after attending a meeting with retired directors, deputy directors and principal assistant directors of NCID. The gathering is an annual event organised to honour retired police officers who once served with NICD.

In this connection, Mohd Khalil advised villagers to be alert and to inform police of any unusual movements of vehicles in their area.

Asked on the problem of police involvement in drug activities, he said the influence of friends and work pressure were the main factors which caused some policemen to fall prey to the menace.

Security forces personnel have to grapple with various pressures, forcing some to turn to drugs for entertainment, he said.

“It cannot be denied that some got involved in drug activities because they were influenced by friends, apart from work pressure due to the challenging nature their job.

“Investigations done from the arrests made under Op Blue Devil launched last August show that there were also some who used drugs as a source of side income.”

Mohd Khalil said Op Blue Devil had produced a positive impact among serving officers and men as some had changed their ways following the operation. “We are also intensifying efforts to check this (drug) menace by holding briefings for police trainees.”

It was earlier reported that 190 police officers and men throughout the country had been arrested after testing positive for drugs during Op Blue Devil.

Separately, police have recorded 21,862 reports related to commercial crimes nationwide, resulting in losses of RM5.8 billion from January to October this year.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the number of cases increased by 4.3% compared to 20,913 cases recorded in the same period last year.

He added 47.2% of cases this year comprise non-existent loan schemes, e-purchases, and Macau and African scams with the Internet used as a medium to find victims.

“The current trend of modernisation is contributing to a wide range of current cybercrime trends, which requires the police force to think out-of-the-box to meet the challenges ahead,” he said, in his speech at the closing ceremony of the National Commercial Crimes Conference here.

About the conference, Abdul Hamid said it provided insights into trending strategies used to address cyber threats.

The conference also helped enhance the skills of police officers handling commercial crimes, he added.

– Bernama