Saturday, May 16, 2009

Heavy security in major drug trafficking trial

The magistrate's court here was heavily guarded when the main suspect for the country's biggest drug trafficking case was charged today. Lee Yong Toe, a 48-year-old lorry driver from Taman Iskandar, Johor Baru, was brought to court about 2.45pm with his eyes covered with a pair of dark goggles.

He was heavily escorted by dozens of policemen, some of whom were armed with submachine guns.

The situation was tense outside the court and reporters covering the case were not allowed to take their belongings inside the court, except a note book.

Even the pens for writing were supplied by the policemen after a thorough body check was made on each reporter and member of the public who wanted to follow the proceedings.

"This is a big case and we cannot allow any type of recording material, in whatever form, inside," said a policeman on duty.
Lee was later charged with trafficking in 978.015kg of syabu (methamphetamine) at Km3 Jalan Cenderawasih here about 6.45am on May 2.

He was alleged to have committed the offence with another person still at large.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Fadhli Mahmud appeared for the prosecution while Lee was represented by counsel Mashanida Mohamad Mazalan.

Magistrate Emma Shahriana Ali fixed July 15 for mention after Fadhli said he had to wait for a report from the Chemistry Department.

Meanwhile, in Kuantan another two suspects were taken to the magistrate's court in the afternoon.

The suspects, aged between 40 and 50-years-old, were also heavily guarded before the police obtained a 60-day remand order.

Another suspect, a Datuk in his 30s, is expected to be charged in Johor Baru soon.

On May 2, police busted the biggest syndicate in the country when they stopped a lorry and confiscated the RM254 million worth of syabu here.