Over 2,000kg of ketum leaves stored in a house and shed was uncovered by the General Operations Force Batallion 7 (PGA7) during a raid at Kampung Air Merbo, Tanah Merah, Kelantan, yesterday.
Authorities seized 2,150kg of ketum leaves with an estimated value of RM64,500, six cars and four motorcycles believed to be owned by the ketum smuggling syndicate.
PGA7 assistant enforcer Ku Majidin Che Ku Jusoh said the raid around 7pm was launched after an observation period to identify suspicious movement of vehicles.
“However, the group of men fled the scene into nearby bushes upon realising the presence of the authorities, leaving their vehicles and the contrabands.
“Our checks found piles of clear plastic in the garage that contained green leaves believed to be ketum, as well as similar packages in the living room.
“Further checks around the premise found more leaves hidden in a shed built near the house,” Ku Majidin said in a statement.
He said all the vehicles and leaves were brought to the Tanah Merah district police station for further action and investigations under Section 30(3) of the Poisons Act 1952.
“All the leaves are believed to be brought in from a northern state into Tanah Merah before they were smuggled to the neighbouring state, likely through ungazetted river routes along Sungai Golok.
“High demand and value of ketum leaves in the neighbouring state is a contributing factor to increased smuggling activities, but the PGA7 will not remain silent and instead increase patrols,” he said.
Ku Majidin added that authorities should always remain vigilant to crack down on various tactics used by smuggling syndicates.