808kg of ‘zombie drugs’ seized

Fentanyl is said to be up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and a mere two milligrams of the drug is enough to kill a human.


Containers of what is believed to be fentanyl worth RM45 million were seized during an operation at the KLIA cargo complex. No arrest has been made. PHOTO: BERNAMA/THE STAR

December 19, 2023

NILAI – For the first time, authorities have seized nearly a tonne of drugs known to be a hundred times more potent than morphine and which has devastating effects on the human mind and body.

A total of 808kg of fentanyl –enough to supply four million drug users – was seized by the Customs Department during an operation at the KL International Airport cargo complex.

It is believed to be worth RM45mil.

The drug, which is hardly heard of here, is extremely potent as it transforms humans into zombies when mixed with other ingredients.

It is also said to be up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

The consignment, declared as fragrance compounds packed in aluminium containers, was on transit here and headed for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, said Customs deputy director-general (enforcement and compliance) Datuk Sazali Mohamad.

Nevertheless, he said, it was worrying that the international syndicate had tried to use KLIA as a transit point and it would have been unthinkable if the drugs had entered the country.

“The drugs were flown in from Mumbai in India and its next destination was Dubai.

“Based on reports from other countries, the drug when mixed with other substances will turn humans into zombies as it is an extremely potent substance,” Sazali told reporters at the department’s narcotics headquarters near here.

Fentanyl is a drug for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anaesthetic. It is a medicine used to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery.

Some governments, including the United States, have said the highly-addictive fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat they are facing.

A mere two milligrams of the drug is enough to kill a human.

Sazali said Customs believe they have also crippled the activities of an international drug trafficking syndicate following the seizure.

“In an attempt to mislead us, the syndicate had declared the consignment as fragrance compounds.

“But we managed to sniff them out,” he said adding, that the drugs, which were in liquid form, were found hidden in 36 boxes.

Asked if his officers had made any arrests, Sazali said there were none yet.

He said the case was being probed under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment and whipping.

Separately, Sazali said that for the first 11 months of this year, Customs had conducted 398 operations and seized various types of illicit drugs such as heroin, ketamine, cannabis and methamphetamine worth almost RM295mil.

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