KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 —
The global drug trade is rapidly expanding but Malaysia’s drug laws are still outdated, senior policeman Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay told Mingguan Malaysia in an interview published today.
The Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department director said there are 900 types of new psychoactive drugs (NPS) in the market, but Malaysia has laws that gazette the use of only 66 of these types of drugs.
He said there had been an almost two-fold rise in the amount of drugs trafficked through Malaysia between 2020 and 2021.
“In 2020 the amount we seized was RM458 million while in 2021 it was touching RM965 million. This was 13 tons and 27 tons each year.
“If we look at the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 there are 66 NPS drugs listed but the market has close to 900 types. So we can only take action on the 66,” he was quoted saying.
Because of this, Ayob said the authorities are not be able to prosecute those found to have any one of the 800 over drugs not gazetted by law, leaving syndicates to operate with impunity in the country.
He said the states with the most amount of drug busts by a long shot is Selangor with 8,212 cases.
The other states and their cases were listed as: Kelantan (4,963), Johor (4,745), Kuala Lumpur (4,610), Sabah (4,533), Kedah (4,518), Penang (4,278), Pahang (4,208), Terengganu (3,528), Sarawak (3,032), Negri Sembilan (2,182), Melaka (1,496) and Perlis (806).
Ayob did not tell the Malay paper how many syndicates were operating in Malaysia or state if the syndicate leaders were operating out of country.
“Just wait until we make arrests. Before this there was a case in Penang where we believe the head of the syndicate is overseas. These syndicates have a lot of money, a strong network and many big businesses so we must always try new approaches,” he was quoted saying.
According to the news report, NPS was first reported in the country in 2016 and quickly became a favourite of nightclub patrons as it gave them a hallucinogenic feeling, but was undetectable in urine tests.
To crack these new syndicates and drug abusers, Ayob said it would help if the police had the latest equipment available in the market.
“Instead of just using human resources. These syndicates know how the police operate, that’s why good equipment is important,” he was quoted saying.