Teens among suspected drug mules detained

James Kon

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) detained 27 individuals, among them three teenagers exploited by a local family drug syndicate to become drug runners.

Twenty-seven suspects were detained for allegedly working as drug runners during a two-week operation, according to a NCB statement on the latest Musang King operation linked to the drug trafficking activity of a local family drug syndicate smashed by the NCB last month.

The suspects were believed to be concealing evidence related to the case and involved in laundering money derived from drug trafficking.

The suspects comprise 17 males and 10 females, including seven married couples. The suspects are aged between 15 to 63, three of which are under 18. Twenty-six suspects are locals and one is a permanent resident.

The raids were conducted across 12 separate locations in the Brunei-Muara District from October 13-26.

During the October 24 raid at Kampong Sungai Tampoi and Kampong Tanah Jambu, enforcement personnel found BND30,000 believed to be proceeds from drug trafficking. It belonged to one suspect detained on October 9. Other items seized included 13 vehicles, mobile phones and jewelleries believed to be linked to drug trafficking activity.

Several plastic packets believed to contain drugs were seized.

The suspects are under investigation under several offences of Section 6(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) Chapter 27 (consumption of controlled drugs), Section 10 of the Misuse of Drugs Act Chapter 27 (offence of conspiring to carry out offence under Misuse of Drugs Act, Chapter 27) and Section 3 Criminal Asset Recovery Order, 2012, for the offence of money laundering.

The NCB probe determined that the teenagers were exploited to work as drug runners, to hide monies from the proceeds of the illegal activities and to avoid detection by the law enforcement. Additionally, people facing financial hardship were also taken advantage of.

The NCB reminds the public, especially parents, to constantly monitor their children’s activities to prevent them from getting involved in activities with unknown financial income and engaging in illegal activities.