The press conference to give information about the crackdown on the record 1.2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine (Photo: Reuters)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Malaysian authorities said on May 28 that they have seized a record 1.2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine that was hidden in tea packets and shipped from Myanmar.

Malaysian Customs Director-General Subromaniam Tholasy told reporters that a total of 1,187 kg of the drug, worth 71 million ringgit (18 million USD), was shipped in a container from Yangon, Myanmar, to Port Klang, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

The shipment, seized on May 22, had been declared “foodstuff” and was bound for a Malaysian trading company based in a Kuala Lumpur suburb, he said.

Customs officers displayed the shipment, packed in golden yellow tea packets, at its narcotics operations headquarters in Nilai, near Kuala Lumpur.

“This is the biggest seizure seen in our history in terms of value and weight,” he said.

Six people, including three Myanmar nationals and three Malaysians, were arrested following the operation, he stated.

“We are still investigating, but we believe the syndicate involved has links with syndicates in Myanmar,” Subromaniam said, adding that officers also seized a small amount of heroin and about 1 million contraband cigarettes.

The seizure was made when the methamphetamine market has expanded at an alarming rate in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, with Indonesia and Thailand also reporting the seizures of large amounts of drugs this year.

Crystal methamphetamine is a form of methamphetamine, a highly addictive synthetic drug also known as speed, shabu and yaba.

According to a report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, methamphetamine represents the greatest global health threat.-VNA