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1.39kg Syabu in rice cooker: Woman from China held

Published on: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Customs officers thwarted an attempt to smuggle in 1.396kg of syabu at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) last Sunday with the arrest of a woman, believed to be a drug mule.

Its Director Datuk Janathan Kandok said during the 6.30pm incident, the drug was detected in a medium-sized box belonging to the woman.

He said the scan of the box found something suspicious in it and when Customs officers opened the box, they found an electric rice cooker set in it as well as five packets wrapped with black carbon paper hidden around the rice cooker.

"The sealed packets contained white crystals, believed to be methamphetamine (syabu) weighing 1,396gm with a market value of RM265,240," he said during a press conference here, Tuesday.

According to Janathan, the 26-year-old unemployed woman is a Chinese national and travelling alone on Business Class from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur with a transit stop in Kota Kinabalu. She was supposed to continue her journey to Kuala Lumpur via KKIA's Terminal Two.

"Initial investigation showed that this was her first time in Sabah. But that is not conclusive as she may have used other passports before this. Our officers suspected her because of several reasons.

"She was registered as unemployed but travelling on Business Class, she travelled alone, long distance from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, but her only luggage was the box," he said.

The latest case is the third this year following the arrest of two Chinese women in June and July, with the overall market value of the drugs seized in all three cases being about RM1,595,570.

Since 2012, the department had recorded 12 smuggling cases involving suspects of different nationalities with total seizure of drugs valued at RM4.8 million.

"This case is quite interesting. In the earlier cases, drugs were hidden in the suspects' bags.

But now, it seems that the syndicate had improvised their tactics by hiding it in a box with a genuine rice cooker in it," said Janathan.

The case will be investigated under Section 39B(2) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952 which carries the death penalty.