14 more nabbed in drug bust

Hakim Hayat

Fourteen more individuals have been apprehended at four different locations on April 2, in the Belait District, said the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

They are believed to be linked to a family syndicate that was uncovered towards the end of March, during Operation Bulls Eye.

Twelve of the suspects are men and two are women, aged between 26 and 53. All are local citizens, except for one, who is a permanent resident.

Raids conducted on their vehicles and residence found 2.3 grammes of Syabu, a Class A drug. Despite an insignificant haul, the NCB said that the raid is aimed at combatting illicit drug deals associated with the family syndicate, and also linked to previous arrests made in the same operation.

The NCB added that they also attempted to deceive authorities with fish-catching and selling activities, while carrying out drug dealings in the Belait District.

The seized evidence. PHOTO: NCB
Evidence seized in the drug bust. PHOTO: NCB

During the recent operation, a number of drug paraphernalia were confiscated, as well as a number of mobile phones and three cars believed to be proceeds from illicit drug sales.

The suspects are currently under investigation under Section 3A of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), Chapter 27, for the offence of possession of controlled drugs; Section 3 of the Criminal Asset Recover Order 2012 for the offence of money laundering; Section 6(a) of the MDA, Chapter 27, for the possession of controlled drugs; Section 6(b) of the MDA, Chapter 27 for the consumption of controlled drugs; Section 7 of the MDA, Chapter 27, for the possession of drug paraphernalia used to consume controlled drugs; and Section 10 of the MDA, Chapter 27, for abetment.

In light of the arrests, the NCB said that it will continue to track down and arrest any individuals involved in the family syndicate that was busted earlier.

The NCB also warned that associating with or protecting any individuals involved in this crime is against the law, which can lead to prosecution in court with the suspects.