Malaysia’s Drug Mules
Malaysia isn’t having any luck either, with 23 Malaysians caught as drug mules in Hong Kong in the last year alone. Narcotics Crimes Investigations Department deputy director Zulkifli Ali was quoted by Malay Mail: “I myself was shocked when I was briefed of many were arrested overseas,”
“There is also a significant increase in locals getting arrested in Australia and South Korea. They will first be given a deposit payment and then the remainder once they return safely, but if their luck runs out and they are caught, they don’t get paid,” said Ali.
Primary Southeast Asia Heroin Traffic Route © DEA
In January, eight Malaysians were charged for drug trafficking in Incheon, South Korea, after the group was caught with a total of 13.3 kilograms of methamphetamines. The total value of the drug hoard was estimated to be RM 161.4 million, and the eight passed through to Incheon via Gimhae International Airport. The drug mules strapped the one-kilogram and two-kilogram packs of methamphetamines to their legs and bellies in an attempt to circumvent airport security.
Since 2013, an estimated 425 Malaysian drug mules are detained globally in 19 different countries. Singapore has the largest chunk of arrests, with 175 Malaysian drug mules arrested since 2013. Next in the list is Thailand with 49, Australia with 34, and 21 for Japan. According to Malaysian authorities, the international syndicates that operate the drug rings in the country were often masterminded by African nationals and routinely recruited Malaysian women.
The international syndicates easily financed the international flights of the drug mules, many of which are willing accomplices because of the promise of fast cash. Each of the Malaysian drug mules were given RM 2,000 as pocket money and were promised more – up to RM 10,000 if succeeded in evading the police and anti-narcotics enforcers in the target countries.