Malaysia seizes drug-stuffed ‘Pakistani onions’ worth billions


cocaine meth drug filled onions

By Shahzad Paracha

ISLAMABAD: Malaysian authorities have confiscated drugs valued at Rs5 billion from a shipment of onions originating from Karachi. The consignment, containing 100kg of cocaine and 411kg of methamphetamine, was intercepted by Malaysian police.

In an urgent communication addressed to the Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Malaysian authorities reported the recovery of over 500kg of illicit substances from a container loaded with Pakistani onions.

According to the correspondence from Malaysian officials, on October 27, 2023, the Malaysian Narcotics Crime Investigation Department and Customs collaboratively conducted a raid on a warehouse in Cheras Prima, Malaysia. The drugs were discovered concealed in onion sacks loaded onto a container.

The document revealed that Malaysian authorities have apprehended one Sri Lankan and five local suspects, aged between 21 and 53, under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The seized 411kg of methamphetamine and 100kg of cocaine, valued at RM 33.73 million, could potentially serve more than 2.6 million users.

The Narcotics Crime Investigation Department made this discovery upon identifying a container from Pakistan arriving at the port of Klang via sea routes.

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All suspects, within the age range of 21 to 53, are currently detained for a seven-day period to assist with the investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952.

Officials, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that Pakistan lacks a bilateral treaty on the exchange of information with Malaysia.

However, as members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) under the United Nations (UN), countries are obligated to share details with one another. The Chief International Customs FBR serves as the focal person for WCO.

Formal action has been taken by the Pakistan Customs Export Collectorate, registering a FIR on the matter. Two Pakistanis, including suspect Chaudhry Nadeem, have been arrested for drug trafficking. Nadeem was detained at the Karachi airport while attempting to depart for Thailand.

Additionally, authorities in Pakistan have taken into custody the clearing agent, Amir Ali Khan. It has been revealed that the company listed on the goods declaration (GD) was the second GD filed by this company.

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