Malaysian airport police bust Indian drug courier
Malaysian airport police detained an Indian
national found carrying 7.5 kilograms of the hallucinogen ketamine hidden in
soap bars upon his arrival at the international airport, news reports said
Sunday, dpa reported.
The suspect, in his 40s, had arrived at the Bayan Lepas International Airport in the northern Penang state Thursday night from Bangkok, Thailand with 147 soap bars hidden in his two bags, the Star daily reported.
Malaysia's tough drug laws prescribe a mandatory death sentence by hanging for those found guilty of smuggling most types of drugs. Officials said they believed they had broken a major drug pipeline into Malaysia from India.
"We used the scanner at the airport to check the items and found something irregular about the soap bars," state customs deputy chief Chik Omar Chik Lim said.
He said further checks revealed that the soaps were hollowed-out and filled with ketamine before being re-packaged.
"The suspect has been remanded for a week to enable us and the police to determine the extent of his drug networking here," Chik Omar said.
"We are surprised that he was willing to take the risk to courier the drugs for a meager 500 ringgit (145 dollars)," he said.
The suspect had worked in Penang for two years, but when his work permit expired he had returned to Mumbai.
Chick Omar said he believed the seizure had severed an international drug pipeline from Mumbai that has been using the international airport as the doorway to the country,
He said about 60 customs officers were now being stationed at the airport as an extra security measure.
Ketamine is a powerful hallucinogen widely used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians. Users of the drug experience profound hallucinations that include visual distortions and a lost sense of time, sense and identity, lasting for up to two hours.