27 more individuals were apprehended by the Narcotics Control Bureau, NCB from the 13th to the 26th of October 2020 who are believed to be hired drug mules related to the family drug syndicate in the previous 'Operasi Musang King'. In a statement, NCB explained that all individuals were believed to be hiding items of evidence and were involved in money laundering for proceeds from drug trafficking activities. The detained comprised of 17 men and 10 women including 7 married couples. The suspects are aged between 15 to 63 years old, and 3 of the detained are under 18 years old. One of the suspect is a permanent resident, while the rest are locals. The raids were carried out at 12 separate locations in the Brunei Muara District.
In one of the raids carried out on the 24th of October 2020 in Kampung Sungai Tampoi and Kampung Tanah Jambu, cash amounting 30 thousand dollars believed to be drug trafficking proceeds was discovered, owned by one of the suspect who was apprehended on the 9th of October 2020.
Also seized during the raids were 13 vehicles, several mobile phones, and jewellery which are believed to be proceed from drug trafficking activities. Aside that, several plastic packages believed to be drugs were also seized.
The arrests are still under investigation under various sections as follow:
- Section 6(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, MDA Chapter 27 for the consumption of controlled drugs;
- Section 10 of the MDA, Chapter 27 for abetment of offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 27; and
- Section 3 of the Criminal Asset Recovery Order 2012 for the offence of money laundering.
NCB's investigation found the involvement of underage youth who were exploited by the family drug syndicate, by turning them into drug mules and use them to hide proceeds from drug trafficking activities to elude the law enforcement authorities. Apart from that, people who are experiencing financial difficulties were also taken advantage of and used in drug trafficking activities.
In this regard, NCB reminds the public especially parents to always monitor their children to avoid activities whose financial sources are unknown, and to prevent them from engaging in illegal activities. NCB will continue to monitor and apprehend any individual who are related to these illegal activities.
Source: Radio Television Brunei