GEORGE TOWN, Aug 26 — Malaysia might one day be run by drug lords and the mafia like in Latin America if drug syndicates continue to grow in the country, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said today.
He said the narcotics department has broken up 144 syndicates to date, exceeding its key performance index (KPI) targets for this year, but pointed out that the high number at the same time shows the severity of the drug menace in Malaysia.,
He added that the narcotics department needs more personnel and firearms to effectively end the drug scourge.
“This surpassed the KPI goal of crippling about 30 drug trafficking syndicates in the country,” he said in a press conference after launching a police conference at a hotel here.
He added that Malaysia needs at least 16,000 narcotics policemen to crack down on drug cases nationwide.
“Currently, our narcotics investigation department only has about 5,000 officers nationwide which makes up only 5 per cent of the overall policemen in the country,” he said.
The IGP said the shortage of officers in the narcotics investigation department meant that each investigating officer will need to manage 14 investigation papers each month on average.
“I will be appealing to the Public Service Department to allow us to increase the number of policemen especially for narcotics investigation department,” he said.
He also said the narcotics investigation department needs to be fully equipped with weapons.
“It is not impossible for our country to one day face situations like in Latin America where mafias and drug warlords control the country,” he said.
Abdul Hamid acknowledged the drug problem has even crept into the police force and the civil service.
“I received reports of about 200 policemen being involved in drug trafficking cases while more than 40 policemen involved in drug possession,” he said, adding that the numbers are likely higher than current statistics show.
He gave an assurance that rogue officers and civil servants involved in drug abuse and drug trafficking activities are being tracked down and that action will be taken.
“We are launching operations to identify these errant officers with full cooperation by all parties,” he said.