36.95kg ganja seizure

Herman Shah Abdullah (centre) with Kaddy Jukin (left) and Kanidi Neng shows the seized ganja. Photo: Munirah Zhamri

KUCHING: Customs successfully thwarts two attempts at smuggling 36.95kg of marijuana or locally known as ganja in four days at Kuching International Airport (KIA).

Its director Herman Shah Abdullah revealed that these were the first two marijuana cases recorded this year.

The compressed marijuana packed into a total of 37 packages was found in three pieces of luggage on Apr 28 and May 1.

“The first case happened at 3.25pm on Apr 28 when a Customs officer found two bags with suspicious looking items during a baggage scan.

“The luggage registered in the name of a 27-year-old local woman, who arrived in Kuching from Kuala Lumpur, were inspected and 18 packages containing compressed marijuana were found.

“The drug weighing around 18.26kg and valued at RM45,660 was seized, and the woman was subsequently arrested,” he said during a press conference at Wisma Customs, Petra Jaya.

Investigations found that the woman who is a part-time insurance agent went to Kuala Lumpur on Apr 22 to visit her hospitalised mother.

She claimed that a friend there asked her to bring a luggage to Kuching with a guarantee of getting a well-paying job in Serian upon completion of her quarantine.

Herman stated that the case is being investigated under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which provides for a death penalty.

The second case believed to be related to the first one, involved an unclaimed baggage at the same location.

“Customs confiscated the baggage at 1.45pm on May 1 for inspection.

“The baggage arrived from Kuala Lumpur on April 2 and its owner is believed to be quarantined upon arrival in Kuching,” he said.

He pointed out that scan results showed suspicious-looking items inside the baggage. A thorough inspection led to the discovery of 19 packages containing compressed marijuana.

The drug weighing around 18.69kg and valued at RM46,730 was seized. It is believed to be meant for distribution to users.

Herman suspected that the baggage was deliberately abandoned and unclaimed when the intended recipient feared discovery by the Customs officers.

The case is being investigated under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and efforts to locate the baggage owner are in full swing.

Also present were Sarawak Customs assistant director I (Operations and Enforcement) Kaddy Jukin and Sarawak Customs assistant director II (Investigation) Kanidi Neng.