NILAI: The Customs Department here has seized RM14.4mil worth of methamphetamine at the KL International Airport (KLIA) cargo complex, two weeks after it foiled an attempt to smuggle RM6.6mil worth of the same drug out of the airport.

Customs director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir said the drug was originally destined for a country in the Asia Pacific region and weighs about 400kg.

He said three suspects aged between 25 and 56 – including a Datuk – were detained with the cargo at the airport on Tuesday (Aug 31) and added that all suspects tested negative for drugs.

“The drugs were hidden in between clothes inside eight boxes kept in two wooden crates. The suspects had also tried to hoodwink the authorities by declaring the goods as birdcage trolleys,” he told reporters at the Customs (Narcotics) headquarters near here.

Abdul Latif said that the drugs were sealed in Chinese tea packs weighing 1kg each and added that the preliminary investigation showed the suspects had successfully made 11 similar shipments since last year.

He added that this was the first time that Customs personnel found the drugs in the consignment.

The trio has been remanded till Sept 13 to assist in the probe.

The case is being probed under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which provides the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

On Aug 16, Customs had foiled a similar attempt to smuggle 184kg of methamphetamine worth some RM6.6mil from KLIA.

Four suspects were also detained to assist in its probe.

The drugs were found stashed inside equipment declared as an “electric contact grill” during a routine inspection.

The consignment was also to be exported to a country in the Asia Pacific region.

However, Abdul Latif said investigations have revealed that both attempts were carried out by different parties.

On a separate matter, Abdul Latif said Customs will get another 20 scanners to be placed at the country’s exit points by the end of this year.

This, he said, was to help reduce smuggling and other illegal activities including in Sabah and Sarawak.

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