GEORGE TOWN: Penang police busted a syndicate processing unregistered medicines after arresting two brothers and a married couple and seizing various types of medicines worth RM14 million in two raids, near here, Thursday.
Penang police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said the raids were conducted in Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth jointly by the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department, Penang State Health Department (JKNPP) and the Malaysian Chemistry Department Penang.
He said the first raid was conducted on a factory at the Machang Indah Industrial Park, Bukit Mertajam at 10 am.
“The police arrested three locals including the owner of the premises and a married couple, aged 48, 48 and 44 years, respectively. The factory was found to be processing unregistered pills and medicines. JKNPP also seized 22 types of unregistered medicines worth RM2 million.
“Subsequently, police raided a shop in Taman Kencana, Butterworth for carrying out the same activity and detained a man, aged 50 years old, a sibling of the first suspect (premises owner) in the first raid.
‘’JKNPP also seized 156,777 bottles of various brands of unregistered medicines worth RM12 million, “he told a press conference, also attended by JKNPP Pharmacy Enforcement Branch chief Arnie Fadzilah here, today.
Sahabudin said the investigation found that the syndicate had been carrying out unregistered drug processing activities at the factory and shop since early this year.
‘’The suspect in the first raid has five records on crime and drugs, the couple were his workers while the suspect in the second raid had a crime record,’’ he said.
He said his party managed to uncover the syndicate’s activities after spying and intelligence over the past few weeks following their suspicion that there were drug processing activities at the factory.
“The factory and shop were actually carrying out unregistered drug processing activities. All four were released on police bail on the same day after the JKNPP took down their statements,“ he said.
Meanwhile, Arnie said preliminary investigation found that the unregistered drugs were believed used for weight gain and sold in Chinese medicine outlets nationwide, e-commerce platforms and in Vietnam.
“The traditional medicines are not registered and our inspection also found that the factory also does not have a license with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) and is registered to process medicines.
‘’All the medicines are actually very dangerous because they contain uncontrolled substances like steroids and can damage the kidney, “he said.
He said the case was being investigated in accordance with Regulation 7 (1) (a) and Regulation 30 (1) of the Drug and Cosmetic Control Regulations 1984 and Section 12 (1) of the Sales of Drugs Act 1952. — Bernama