KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The police have busted 221 drug syndicates nationwide this year, some of them led by VIPs, with the title ‘Datuk’.
There were also syndicates masterminded by wealthy individuals who became millionaires in a short period of time, after only two or three years in business.
This situation is a cause of concern because with these drug operations happening, it is feared that one day the country will have a drug lord as notorious and powerful as Colombian cocaine tycoon Pablo Escobar who had dealings with the authorities, using bribery or other means to achieve his goals.
Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (JSJN) director Datuk Razarudin Husain in admitting the police’s mounting fear of black economy players, said these drug kingpins have been using legitimate businesses as fronts for their drug trafficking activities.
“The government incurs losses of hundreds of millions each year as these syndicates mask their true nature of the business activity and are able to evade paying taxes,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama at Bukit Aman recently.
Razarudin said it is feared that these black economy players or kingpins would become immensely powerful that they could “influence” the police or politicians and this could have an impact on the country.
However, the JSJN chief stressed that the division would always ensure that this does not happen and would continue to intensify intelligence activities and operations in collaboration with other government agencies.
“So far, based on the information and intelligence monitoring, these drug syndicates have not been able to use their influence on government institutions and politicians.
“There may be one or two police personnel who have links with these kingpins but action have been taken against them and I see that my officers and staff are hard-working and have a high degree of integrity,” he said.
Razarudin informed that according to the National Anti-Drug Agency, last year there were 130,000 drug addicts between the ages of 18 to 45, with an average of one addict in eight families.
He said the government has to spend RM45 a day on the rehabilitation of an addict and this is a financial burden on the country.
“If this continues and drug addiction is not curbed, in the next 10 years the number can reach up to three million,” he said.
As such, he said, curbing the drug menace in the country must be dealt with an early stage to stop the growing number of addicts and drug lords.
Meanwhile, he urged the public to be more aware of their surroundings and should they notice anyone with sudden wealth under suspicious circumstances, channel the information to the police so that a thorough investigation can be conducted.