Malaysia arrests two Iranians in latest drug haul
Kuala Lumpur: Police said Sunday they shut down an international syndicate's bid to distribute drugs in southern Malaysia with the arrest of two Iranian smugglers and 4.5 kilos (10 pounds) of methamphetamine.
Mohammad Mokhtar Mohamad Sharif, police chief in southern Johor state, told a news agency the pair were arrested on arrival at the state's international airport on Wednesday.
"We believe that both men are part of an international drug syndicate from the Middle East trying to distribute drugs in southern Malaysia which we have stopped," he said.
"The drugs could be dealt out to at least 15,000 addicts in Johor," he added.
Mohammad Mokhtar did not identify the nationality of the couriers but state media said they were Iranians aged 22 and 27, and that the drugs were found hidden in a secret compartment of a trolley bag held by one of them.
There has been a steep increase in the number of alleged Iranian drug traffickers caught in Malaysia, with 138 arrested from January to October last year compared with 16 in the whole of 2009.
Iran's ambassador to Malaysia has said international crime gangs are using Iranians to smuggle drugs into the country.
The latest bust follows the arrest last month of nine Iranians and the seizure of more than 70 kilogrammes of methamphetamine as well as seven million ringgit ($2.3 million) in foreign currency in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Police said the nine were believed to be using Malaysia as a base to supply drugs to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.