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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Local airlines crew turning drug mules worry cops

Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department chief Mohmad Salleh presenting an award to a police constable at the Sabah police headquarters in Kota Kinabalu today.
KOTA KINABALU: Police are worried over the rise in cases of airline staff from Malaysia being caught abroad for smuggling drugs, said Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department chief Mohmad Salleh.
He cited the case of two Malindo Air cabin crew arrested along with several others for allegedly smuggling heroin into Australia last month.
“As the anti-narcotics director, I am a bit concerned as this is becoming a trend among our society, especially young people who are desperate for jobs and easily lured into this line because of the lucrative returns.
“The smuggling is done into Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand,” he told reporters after closing a police constable training programme at the state police headquarters in Kepayan here today.
Mohmad said police will work more closely with airline companies to nip in the bud the problem of airline staff involved in drug smuggling or turning into drug mules.
“There have been a lot of cases. Besides the recent Malindo case, there was an arrest in Batam, Indonesia.
“There were also cases involving Malaysia Airlines staff previously.
“This gives the impression that our country does not have strict laws to deal with those involved in drugs.
“That’s why we need to focus our attention on airline companies,” he said.
The two Malindo Air crew members were among eight people arrested by Australian police for allegedly smuggling RM2.95 million worth of drugs into the country but Malindo Air later said only one of its crew members was arrested.
Mohmad said Malaysian police will also capitalise on their good relations with the United States’ Drugs Enforcement Administration, the Australian police and Singapore police to deal with cross-border drug activities.
It was recently reported that eight Malaysians were arrested and charged by South Korean authorities with smuggling syabu worth about 44 billion won (RM161.8 million) into the country. They were detained earlier last month.
Mohmad said after drugs, the main enemy is corruption. “I have stressed to my men to always look after and enhance our integrity.

“If we don’t have integrity, whatever efforts we make will not lead to success. This doesn’t apply to the narcotics department alone but to the police force as a whole,” he said. -FMT

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