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Malaysia makes record USD 161 mn drug seizure

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

Malaysian authorities seized over three tonnes of cocaine and ketamine worth USD 161 million, officials said Friday, the biggest drug seizure in the country's history.

Customs officials and police had found 467 kilograms (1,030 pounds) of ketamine and about 3,200 kg of cocaine in raids on Sunday.

The ketamine was discovered first in a shop in the town of Puncak Alam, just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, with 13 men arrested, including nine foreigners, according to a government statement.

Interrogation of one of the men led officials to carry out another raid in the nearby city of Shah Alam, where several packages of cocaine were discovered.

The cocaine was believed to have been shipped from Ecuador and the ketamine from Pakistan, with both coming through the country's main port. The drugs had an estimated value of 676 million ringgit (USD 161 million), officials said.

Early investigations found they were to be exported to other countries, although officials did not say which.

Malaysia is commonly used as a transit point for smugglers transporting goods ranging from endangered animals to drugs.

Those arrested were aged 27 to 56. Officials did not reveal the nationalities of the detained foreigners.

Under Malaysian law, trafficking certain amounts of drugs is punishable with a mandatory death penalty.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 23 2019. 16:50 IST