JOHOR BARU, Sept 28 — Section 39C of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 has helped reduce the crime load undertaken by hardcore drug addicts, according to Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.
That particular legal provision allows the courts to impose jail of not less than five years and not more than seven years for a first-time offender, caned not more than three times and placed under a surveillance order for no less than two years and not more than three years.
The punishment goes up for repeat offenders with jail time increased to no less than seven years and not more than 13 years, caning for no less than three times and not more than six times.
“In fact, we find that Section 39C of the DDA 1952 is an effective tool for repeat addicts,” said Ayob after closing the pioneer coordination project on substance abuse and social diversion at the Dewan Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat in Tampoi here today.
He said police have found the incidence of petty crimes such as snatch theft drop by removing repeat drug addicts from the system, though he did not explain how.
Ayob said police in Johor have taken action against a total of 509 repeat drug offenders under Section 39C of the DDA 1952 since April.
“Earlier this year, not many drug offenders were placed under the section, but things started to change after April this year.
“From there on, Johor police have intensified their efforts by arresting the repeat offenders under the section.
“In order for police to apply Section 39C of the DDA 1952, the repeat offender must be caught for drugs for a third time,” said Ayob.
He then said a new psychoactive drug with high potency is being distributed.
He said the key to the new psychoactive substance is its formulation as an Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS).
“The distribution of the new psychoactive drug is still being traditionally distributed by the same syndicates.
“What is different is that it can have a higher addiction level,” said Ayob Khan.