Malaysian drug lords use various methods to avoid detection by Thai police

May 1, 2017
It took months of work by Thai authorities before they nabbed two suspected Malaysian drug lords, one of them being “Mr T”. Photo by Bernama

Months of painstaking investigation and covert intelligence works by the Thai authorities finally bear fruit last week when they nabbed two suspected Malaysian drug lords, who were high on the wanted list.

Both “Big Fish”, “Mr T” or “Malaysian Iceman” as some called him and “Mr G” from Penang, were alleged to be key members of international drug syndicates. responsible for the smuggling of hundreds of kilos of drugs into Malaysia.

They knew they are wanted persons and in an attempt to evade arrest, employed different tricks in the books to avoid detection by the authorities, according to multiple sources within the Thai police who have been “following” the two Malaysian drug kingpin for months.

“To avoid police’s detection, ‘Mr T’ purposely switched on his hand phones and left them at his vacant house in Sadao while he travelled to Chiang Rai to order drugs. He also left his house’s lights and air-conditioning system on, to give an impression that he is at home all the time,” said a source to Bernama recently.

The source, who declined to reveal his identity, said, during his stay in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, the 64-year-old who hailed from Johor had only used public phone and hand phones belonging to his friends to contact his Thai wife who lived with the couple’s 16-year-old son in Hatyai.

“He did not want people to know about his movement when he went to Chiang Rai,” he said adding that the Malaysian was wary that his hand phones had been electronically compromised by the authorities to eavesdrop on his conversations, thus decided to leave the device at his house.

Unknown to him, the authorities had put him under surveillance ever since his identity was uncovered during the interrogation of two Malaysian men in Sadao in March last year, following their failed attempt to smuggle 282 kg of “Ice” to Malaysia.

The interrogation of the two men has led the authorities to uncover a wealth of intelligence information, culminating with the identification of “Mr T” as the owner of the drugs and his role in other successful drug smuggling attempts to Malaysia.

“The authorities have been shadowing his every movement during his latest trip to Chiang Rai,” said the source.

“Mr T” according to the Malaysian men, was responsible for at least five successful drug smuggling attempts into Malaysia, each attempt carrying more than 100 kg of “Ice” to undisclosed destinations in the country before re-exported it to third countries.

The Malaysian, who has lived in Thailand for about 20 years and speaks fluent Thai, was arrested by Thai police at Hatyai airport upon his return from Chiang Rai on April 19.

The authorities also discovered the Malaysian man has built up a large business empire in Hatyai and Sadao, spanning from entertainment outlets, restaurants, hotels to property, which all have been seized by the authorities pending money laundering investigation.

Several days after the arrest of “Malaysian Iceman”, Thai Police notched another significant “win” in their battle against international drug syndicates with the arrest of another Malaysian, a 44-year-old Penang man who has been described by the authorities as a brutal enforcer among members in his syndicate.

He has been known to employ torture as a mechanism to ensure his men toe the line and execute their mission successfully.

Similar to “Mr T”, his cover was blown after two Malaysian men were arrested in Chumphon, southern Thailand late last year with nearly 52.4 kg of Heroin and 41.9 kg of “Crystal” Methaphetamine, stashed inside their car.

“Besides speaking very fluent Thai, the authorities also discovered that the man possessed a fake Thai identity card, in an attempt to cover his real identity,” said the source adding that, the Penang-man also stayed in an expensive condominium whenever he was in town and carried a pistol.

Thai authorities according to the source, had put the Penang man under a 24-hour surveillance immediately after he entered Thailand before the Songkran holiday, “shadowing” his every step in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, before making a move on the wanted man at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The Penang man who carried a police’s arrest warrant was nabbed as he was getting ready to board his flight back to Malaysia.

“It was an expensive (covert) operation as the officers need to stay in the same hotels and eat at the same expensive restaurants as him (the Penang man) to enable us to monitor each of his movement,” said the source.

Both operations to arrest the two Malaysian drug lords received good cooperation from Malaysian police, which supplied vital intelligence information about the two men. –Bernama