GEORGE TOWN: Penang police busted a heroin-processing laboratory following the arrest of two local men and a Nepalese man along with various types of drugs worth RM117,000 in two raids conducted in Bukit Mertajam, on Monday.

State police chief Datuk Hamzah Ahmad said the Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) team had raided a single-storey terrace house in Taman Seri Rambai at 5.30 pm and arrested a 35-year-old Nepalese man.

“During the raid, the police found a drug processing laboratory with 8,471 grams (g) of heroin; 377g of heroin base and caffeine (9,500g) which are all worth RM117,000 as well as various chemicals and equipment to process the drugs.

“The police later arrested two local men, aged 17 and 46, in a car, about four kilometres from the house used as the drug laboratory. The 46-year-old man is believed to be the mastermind of the syndicate,” he said at a press conference here today.

He said that based on the investigation, the Nepalese man has the expertise to prepare the heroin and the syndicate obtains a supply of heroin base from Thailand.

Hamzah said that the investigation also found that the drug processing syndicate had been active since the end of last year and that all the seized drugs could be used by 77,000 addicts.

He said two local men tested positive for drugs and the mastermind had records related to drug offences while the younger man acted as his assistant.

“Following their arrest, the police also seized two cars, two motorcycles and jewellery worth RM106,800,” he said, adding that further investigations are still underway to trace the network.

All three men were remanded for seven days to assist in the investigation under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Hamzah said the police arrested a security guard and seized 0.3 g of syabu along with two live .38 bullets in a raid on a house in Sungai Ara, near here at 11.30 am on Monday.

He said the 50-year-old man claimed he had the live ammunition as he was interested in keeping it as a personal collection. The man also tested positive for drugs and had three previous drug-related records.

“The man was remanded for four days until May 24 to assist the investigation under Section 8(a) of the Arms Act 1960 and Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952,” he said.