Royal Malaysia Police have seized 12 tons of cocaine worth about $575 million in the most massive drug bust ever in the country, reported Malay Mail.
The cocaine, found at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) earlier this month, was divided in three 40ft shipping containers, which had 60 sacks of charcoal blended with the drug, a new technique used by drug smugglers to evade drug-sniffing dogs and or electronic sniffers.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said in a press conference on Sept 20 that government forces conducting Op Eagle, a drug busting operation at the country, deployed new technology that discovered the drugs.
"Normal drug-detecting technology would not be able to detect it. (But) our chemistry department has advanced technology that was able to detect the cocaine among the coal," Abdul Hamid said.
Abdul Hamid said the drugs originated in South America and were transited via containership to Malaysia, with the intent of distributing across Asia.
"With the hard work and experience of the members of the chemistry department, we were able to uncover the hidden cocaine."
All three containers were declared as coal, was the biggest drug bust in the country's history he said at the press conference.
Abdul Hamid added that police have arrested a man, aged 29, who was responsible for handling the containers at NBCT.
The man tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of the incident and will remain in jail until Sept 23. There is no word from authorities if the man is associated with the drug cartel responsible for shipping the cocaine from South America or the distribution network in Malaysia.
Last month, police seized nearly 3.7 tons of ketamine and cocaine worth about $161 million. The sacks of drugs were found at a commercial facility in Puncak Alam, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, during a raid by government forces on Aug 18.
The series of drug seizures in Malaysia shows the country is a transit point for international drug cartels. Authorities provided very little detail of where the drugs were headed next.
So we used various known shipping routes in the region to gain a perspective of where the end destination could've been. And judging by our map below, it's likely these drugs were headed towards China and or Japan, and or Australia.
It remains unclear if JPMorgan had any ownership claim to the ship that delivered the CoCo's (i.e., cocaine containers) to Malaysia the same way that JPMorgan owned the ship - the MSC Gayane - that was busted for transporting a record $1.3 billion worth of cocaine in Philadelphia this past June.